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Mealybug Lifecycle & Contraction

Scientific Name: Pseudococcidae (family)

Entry: 2 of 4

Mealybugs tend to be more common in warmer areas and in the summer, times and places where we're more likely to leave a door or window open. This makes contraction a little bit random. There are several ways in which your plant can contract mealybugs:

  1. In their early stages, mealybugs can travel through the air. Male mealybugs are also winged. These two things mean that they will mostly commonly enter your home through standard openings (again, like doors and windows).
  2. When it comes to plants and bugs, nature's most tried and true method of spreading around has been to attach seeds and eggs to passing animals. Humans are no exception to this! Mealybugs will often enter your home by hitching a ride unnoticed on your clothes.
  3. Lastly, plants that are sometimes kept outside and then brought inside will contract the mealybugs while outside and then spread the bugs to the rest of your home. Always check your plants before bringing them back inside.

However they get inside, it’s not your fault - it just happens sometimes!

Now, to move on to their lifecycle: There are a few species of mealybugs and there is some variation between them, but their lifespan from egg-death can last at least 6 weeks to at most about 2 months if left untreated. The females die after laying their eggs, which normally hatch in about a week.

Speaking of the little babies, baby mealybugs are called “crawlers”. They are called that because these guys move around looking for a safe space to attach to and feed.

Fun fact: long tailed female mealybugs actually give birth to live young mealybugs!

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