Scientific Name: Pseudococcidae (family)
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Mealybugs are a small, white, flat bug, the females of which secrete a mealy, cottony white substance (hence the name mealybugs), which protects them as they feed on the juices of plants. This white fuzz is their main identifier.
Female mealybugs attach themselves to the plants to feed and lay eggs (this is the kind of mealybug you’re going to notice on the plant itself excreting that fuzzy substance). Male mealybugs have wings and are a little larger - they sort of resemble gnats. If you start seeing what you think are gnats flying around your plants, check for mealybugs.
Because the females like to stay sedentary, you won’t notice them crawling all over your plant - instead, look for them in these places:
- Back side of the foliage
- Hiding inside the crevices of stems
- Piled on new growth
- Gathered around the node of a stem
Additionally, if you wipe down any suspected area with a towel and it comes up pink/red, you have mealybugs.