The Mango Mealybug, Drosicha mangiferae, belonging to the Family Pseudococcidae of the Order Hemiptera, is native to India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. These insects are sap-sucking insect pests and are small, soft-bodied, wingless, and covered in a waxy, white coating. They feed on the sap of the mango trees and lay their eggs on the leaves, stems, and fruits.
This pest causes significant damage to the fruit, leaves, and stems, resulting in reduced yields and quality. They can also transmit diseases, such as bacterial blight, to the mango trees. To effectively manage this pest, it is important to understand its life cycle, its preferred habitats, and the best methods for controlling it. This article will provide an overview and discussion of the Mango Mealybug Pest in Mango crops, including its symptoms, identification techniques, and control.
Mealybug Pest Management in Mango
Life Cycle of Mango Mealybug Pest in Mango Crop
The life cycle of the mango Mealybug pest has four stages. They are egg, nymph, adult, and mating. The cycle begins when the female Mealybug lays eggs in clusters on the mango tree’s leaves, stems, fruit, or flowers. The eggs hatch into nymphs after about two weeks at the end of December. The first instar nymphs are known as climbers/crawlers. These nymphs climb the trees and feed on the sap of the mango tree, and they secrete a waxy substance that forms a protective covering around them.
The nymphs go through three stages of molt before reaching the adult stage. The adult stage is the most damaging stage of the Mealybug’s life cycle, as they feed on the mango tree sap and excrete honeydew, which can cause sooty mold on the leaves and fruit of the tree. Once the female Mealybug has mated, she will lay her eggs in clusters on the mango tree’s leaves, stems, fruit, or flowers in April and May. The eggs will hatch after about two weeks, and the cycle will start again.
Occurrence of Mango Mealybug Pest in Mango Crop
- Location of Mango Mealybug pest: This pest infests mango crops in India, Africa, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.
- Host range: The mango Mealybugs infect crops like Mango, Apple, Guava, Jamun, Jackfruit, Litchi, Peach, Plum, Apricot, Avocado, Coconut, Banana, Papaya, Mulberry, Pomegranate, Coffee, Grapes, Citrus crops, Grapevine, Ber, and Cherry.
Factors Favoring the Population Increase of Mango Mealybug Pest in Mango Crop
- In areas with hot and dry weather, the mango Mealybug can thrive due to the lack of natural predators. The higher temperatures and dry conditions can accelerate their reproductive cycle.
- The lack of rainfall can make it difficult for other pests or natural predators to survive and control the population of the mango Mealybug.
- The presence of alternate hosts, like coconuts, bananas, papayas, etc., allows the pest to build up its population quickly.