The vine mealybug (Planococcus ficus) can be identified by a dark thin dorso-medial line of denuded wax; it can be found on roots as well as above ground.
A high population of mealybugs can lead to: fruit drop, fruit deformation and development of discolored welts on the rind of the fruit.
Mealybug secrete copious quantities of honeydew which is a substrate for a group of fungi, sooty mold. Sooty mold is black in color and may stain the fruit decreasing their market value as well as causing a delay in fruit color development. Photosynthetic potential, especially of young trees, may be negatively affected if sooty mold infection is severe. Mealybug is a phytosanitary pest in some export markets and if found on fruit destined for these markets, can result in rejection of the consignment and could place these markets at risk for the future.
There are specific natural enemies for different species of mealybugs.
For more information contact your local BioBee field agent.