Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Pineapple mealybug (282)

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  • Worldwide distribution. In tropics and sub-tropics. On crops and weeds in more than 50 families. An important pest. 
  • The mealybug gives birth to nymphs (“crawlers”), that moult to 2.5 mm adults covered in thick white wax, orange beneath.
  • Spread is in fruit trade and that for planting material.
  • Spreads Pineapple mealybug wilt-associated virus.
  • Natural enemies; parasitoids and predators. Biocontrol successful when ants are controlled.
  • Cultural control: treat crowns/slips in hot water (50°C for 30 mins.); cultivate to kill ants; avoid overlapping crops; remove diseased plants; weed.
  • Chemical control: dip planting material in diazinon and white oil; ants – baits and synthetic pyrethroids
Common Name

Pineapple mealybug

Scientific Name

Dysmicoccus brevipes. A closely related species, the grey pineapple mealybug, Dysmicoccus neobrevipes also occurs. Several viruses in the ampelovirus group are associated with pineapple mealybug wilt disease (see Fact Sheet no. 380), and are spread by these Dysmicoccus species.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson 
Information from Waterhouse DF (1998) Dysmicoccus brevipes. Biological control of insect pests: Southeast Asian prospects. ACIAR Monograph no. 51, 548 pp. Canberra; and CABI (2015) Dysmicoccus brevipes (pineapple mealybug). Crop Protection Compendium. (; and from Subere CVQ et al. (2011) Transmission characteristics of pineapple mealybug wilt associated virus-2 by the grey pineapple mealybugs Dysmicoccus neobrevipes in Hawaii. Proceedings 7th International Pineapple Symposium. Eds.: Abdullah H et al. Acta Hort. 902, ISHS. ( Photos 1&2 United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs, USDA Agriculture Research Service, Photos 3&4 United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Photos 5&6 John Thomas, Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Queensland Government.

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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