Sunday, November 29, 2009

Papaya mealy bug - Paracoccus Marginatus

A while ago, WW noticed some white stuff on our papayas, and eventually I got round to looking closer
papaya mealy bug malaysia

clusters of foam, it seemed like to me, and I wasn't sure if it was a real problem or not... but it spread
papaya mealy bug malaysia

and it was clearly affecting the growth...
papaya mealy bug malaysia

a closer look revealed what looked like eggs
papaya mealy bug malaysia

but I still couldn't see the bugs... I thought I spotted it with this brown beetle-like insect, but it was only when I looked at the photos afterwards, that I noticed the white fluffy-like insects.
papaya mealy bug malaysia

Upon investigation, I'm somewhat concerned to find out that it is an invasive Papaya mealy bug - Paracoccus Marginatus. It doesn't restrict itself to papaya, and it's a "polyphagous sucking insect pest and has been recorded on more than sixty host plants in India." (The Hindu); 'polyphagous' means it eats different types of fruit and plants, and A Canadian in King Parakramabahu's Court (in Sri Lanka) reports it attacking lime trees, curry leaf and jasmine! Argh!

There's a detailed paper on this (by Alison Walker, Marjorie Hoy and Dale Meyerdirk), describing how it originated in Central America, has moved into Asia and tropical regions... It can be controlled by the introduction of other insects or "parasitoids", but that ain't much use to me...

Stay tuned for an attempt at organic control of this pest. All advice is welcome.






16 comments:

Antigonum Cajan said...

I create my own. The issue is to monitor the garden for insects often.
My recipe is a tablespoon of dish soap
per liter of water, with a the same
amount of hot sauce, any hot sauce will
help kill pests.
It is important to have a spray bomb
with a filter, otherwise it may clog.

I had this problem recently..

GOOD LUCK, from the Caribbean...

julian said...

Hiya, thanks for dropping by. Yes, I have tried something similar, will post about as soon as I can find the time.

Sunita said...

Julian have you tried spraying diluted neem oil or a decoction of crushed neem seeds soaked in water? You can add a drop of liquid soap to help it to adhere to the surface. Neem is the answer to most of my garden problems. I hope it helps you with the mealybugs.

julian said...

Thanks Sunita, the chili and garlic seems to have done the trick so far (touch wood), but I may have overdone the chili tho!

I'll find some neem for any future use, I've heard it recommended elsewhere too.

Autumn Belle said...

Julian, the bugs seem to have found their paradise in your papaya plant. Luckily the chilli and garlic works on them. Are the papayas ok now? In my garden, they seem to love my portulacas.

julian said...

It seems to have worked OK thanks :) Hope you can get rid of yours!

J.C. said...

Thanks for sharing your tips on how to get rid of mealy bugs.

I have the same problem in my garden. They attacked my YTT flower, roselle and lady fingers!! I didn't know how to get rid of them. Daily spraying of water and picking on them are exhausting as they keep returning.

Chilli padi & garlic ~ ha ha..I will try this and see how the battle goes! Hope this time I will win the war instead of them expanding their territory in my garden. Thanks!!

çiçek siparisi said...

hello , Voov very perfect Thanks for sharing your tips on how to get rid of mealy bugs

N said...

Hi,
Mealybugs are root insects. Ants do farm them, bringing them from the root to the under side of the leaves. There are lot of ways people try to control them naturally. Here are the few that works:
1. Controlling ants from climbing up the main stem by taping sticky surface area. This also helps to indentify various crawling insects that are on the plants.
2. Tobacco soaked overnight in water and fed to the root and sprayed on to the plant repeatedly for few weeks at regular intervals.
3. Neem oil and Pongamia oil spraying these at regular intervals helps.
I tried soaking crushed pongamia tree leaves overnight in water(fill water just so the leaves are covered) and spraying them on the plants. This made hibiscus plants free from mealy bugs for about a month. Also I think it was nutrient rich foliar spray. The plant leaves are looking so healthy.
4. Instant fix: Rubbing alcohol/Surgical spirit diluted in water 1:3 ratio and sprayed on to the plants. Tried this myself. It works immediately. This dehydrates the bugs making them die. You can also try a Beer instead of spirit I guess.
5. Last but not least, is Chili, Garlic, vinegar, dish soap, white flour in combination works as temporary repellent from the infested plant. But goes to different plants. Not a preferable method.
Hope this helps.

julian said...

Thanks thats some great detailed information!

Anonymous said...

Hi..Full information. Please update oftenly..

buat duit said...

I will try..Look very interesting

Macy said...

The papaya mealybug is believed to be native to Mexico and/or Central America. It has never gained status as a serious pest there, probably due to the presence of an endemic natural enemy complex. The first specimens were collected in Mexico in 1955. The papaya mealybug was described in 1992 from the Neotropical Region in Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Mexico (Williams and Granara de Willink 1992).

Hydroponic Products said...

Mealybugs occur in all parts of the world.Mealybugs also infest some species of carnivorous plant such as pitcher plants.You can use alcohol spray to protect them.

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