Pest:Mealy bugs

Mealy bugs infest vines, berries and roots. The root infestations often become severe. Body of mealy bugs is white to off pink in colour. They usually excrete a pinkish fluid when pressed. Juvenile mealy bugs crawl from infested plant to another plant. Planococcus spp initially attack roots just below the soil level. Later the population is distributed to deeper layers by ants. These insects are very small (<6mm in length) and they are covered with white wooly substance. The body is oval shaped. Root mealy bugs excrete large quantities of honey dews on to the roots that in turn attract ants which in turn distribute the mealy bugs to the root zone.


  • The major symptoms of mealy bug infestations are yellowing of plants, shedding of leaves, stunting of plants and wilting.
  • The roots of infested plants decay resulting in death of plants.
  • Newly emerging leaves get reduced in size.
  • Some of the infested plants may put forth new flushes with the onset of rain which will remain unhealthy.
  • Such plants gradually wilt.

Procedure for Observation

Inspect 20 standards selected at random from the plot. Observe for symptoms of damage such as yellowing, stunting, shedding of leaves, etc. Look for population of mealy bugs in such plants after removing soil from the base.


  • Mere presence of mealy bugs.
  • Control Measures

  • Apply neem cake along with organic matter.
  • Drench the basin with chlorpyriphos 0.05 %.
  • Ensure that the insecticide solution reaches the root zone of the vine.
  • When mealy bugs are seen on the aerial parts spray chlorpyriphos at 0.05% level.