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Phormium Mealybug



P_phoriummbug

Phormium Mealybug

Usually appear in

All Year


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Caused By:-     The insect Balanococcus(Trionymus) diminutus

Description

The Phormium mealybug or New Zealand Flax Mealybug Balanococcus(Trionymus) diminutus (formally Pseudococcus diminutus) is a small soft bodied insect that inhabits the tight confines of the leaf base of New Zealand Flax(Phormium Tenax). It is about 2.6 to 5.5 mm long by 1.4 to 2.9 mm wide and lacks the tail that characterizes the long tailed mealybug. They are grey or dark red and the body is covered with a fine wax secreation and often the white fluffy ovisac that can completely hide the insect.
This mealybugs are killed by frost, but because they are usually in the deep recesses of the leaves which do not freeze will survive winter conditions outside. The bugs are insects which look something like small pale woodlice and they feed by sucking juices from their host plant. It is also known to inhabit Cordyline, Agave, Yucca and Fraxinus.
This mealybug is not only unsightly but can suck the sap and weaken the plant if not controlled.
Picture by United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs Archive, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org.
See also Mealy Cabbage Aphids, Mealy Plum Aphids, Mealy Bugs, Root Mealybugs, Wooly Aphids.


Control

The best control for this insect is removal of infected plant parts and an application of a systemic insecticide.
Hosing off those bugs that can be seen and spraying with a contact, then a systemic insecticide should control this pest.



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