Flores, A. 2005 Mealybugs may have met their match: Insect predators and parasites home in on this growing menace.. Agricultural Research 53(4).


  • biological control
  • distribution
  • Notes: [http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/apr05/bugs0405.htm?pf=1] This species of mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus, has spread throughout the Caribbean region since first being detected on the island of Grenada in 1994. It later spread to Mexico, Central America, and in 2002, Florida. USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services responded together to the Florida infestation by releasing two effective parasites (Anagyrus kamali and Gyranusoidea indica) and a predatory ladybug (Cryptolaemus montrouzieri) to control the mealybug, which has resulted in over 98 percent reduction in PHM population density. Despite these efforts, plants from an infested ornamental nursery in Florida were shipped last year to 36 other U.S. states -- and PHM may have been hiding in some of these shipments and may become established in these states. APHIS is therefore expanding production of PHM natural enemies in preparation for release in other states.