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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mango Mealybug and its Control

Posted by Shakil Shaukat On Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Mealybug is an insect of fruit trees. It not only reduce the fruit production from trees but it also reduces the quality of the fruits hence the fruits are not export quality. The insect larvae and wingless females are most damaging.

Mealybug is a sucking insect and it attacks mango from December - January. During this period the larvae attack leaves and inflorescence and deprive them from essential nutrients. It not only feeds on the plants but also secrets a sticky substance which serves as the source of fungal attack. In severe attack of mealybug, fruit does not set and wood is also damaged. 
This is a very troublesome insect in the orchards and it is very difficult to reduce its population once it has entered in an orchard. Birds also do not like to prey this insect. Mealybug has been reported on more than a hundred hosts.
The insect lays its eggs in closed places. During the end of its life cycle, when the female comes down from the tree, it tries to enter the rhizosphere of the host to lay its eggs. If the soil is compact and it can not reach the roots, then it tries to hide in some other places, for example; it tries to hide in the nearby watercourse ( کھا لہ ), the fence around the orchard, brick walls, houses etc. and dies after laying eggs. In December, the eggs hatch and the larvae start to climb on the nearby host plant and the damage starts.


  1. Collecting the eggs and then destroying them, is the best and cheapest control for mealybug and quite effective also. This method has been found very easy and effective. 
  2. In one of the simplest methods, an ordinary sheet of polythene is spread around the stems of trees. Then a pile is made around the stem on the polythene sheet, this pile is made of the collection of fallen dried leaves, stem and clogs of soil present in the orchards. The mealybug when comes down from trees, enter in this pile and lay eggs. The pile should remain there until all the females have hidden in it. After that scatter the pile in bright sunlight or on the road where the eggs are killed by sunlight or walking. The artificial egg laying habitat should be completed in the first week of April. This method has found to reduce the mealybug population by 90 - 100% in experiments. The first week of April is critical in this regard that the females starts coming down from trees and they can be trapped into artificially placed egg laying pile. And hence, the population of mealybug can be reduced.