Cane mealybug

Picture of cane mealybug disease

Cane mealybug

Scientific name of the insect: Pseudococus sacchari CKII

Order of insectsOrder Homoptera

Mealybug family:Fam. Pseudococcidae

This insect infects cane trees. The infestation is severe, as the insect has sufficient time to grow, and it is found around the area of the stem nodes covered with the leaves of the plant, in the form of a fine white substance, underneath which the pink-colored body of the insect appears. This insect does not have an egg sac, as it reproduces by giving birth to nymphs.

Severe infestation causes the plants to weaken, and the most dangerous thing about infestation with this insect is that it secretes sugary secretions that cause the sugar to not crystallize when sugar is made from infected cane juice.

Cause of disease

Mealybugs have small, oval, wingless bodies, and are usually found in warm and temperate climates.

Their bodies are sheltered under a layer of fine, mealy wax, which gives them a cottony appearance. Insects use their piercing-sucking mouthparts to penetrate plant surface cells and suck sap from tissues.

Symptoms also appear as a reaction of the plant to toxic substances injected by insects while sucking the sap.

Insects lay their eggs in the soil.

After the nymphs emerge, the insects move to nearby plants.

These insects can be transmitted by wind, ants, animals, birds, and sometimes during agricultural operations such as pruning and harvesting.

It has many alternative hosts such as eggplant, potatoes and many weeds. Symptoms become more severe and insects are active and multiply in warm, dry climates.


  1. . White cotton-like insects appear on leaves, branches, flowers and fruits.
  2. . Symptoms also appear as yellowing and curling of the leaves.
  3. . Stunted plant growth.
  4. White, cottony masses of mealybug clusters appear on the lower surface of leaves, branches, flowers, and fruits.
  5. Infestation may lead to yellowing and curling of leaves, poor plant growth, and early fruit drop.
  6. The bugs secrete honeydew while sucking plant sap, making the plant surface sticky and susceptible to infection by fungi and opportunistic bacteria. Fruits are highly susceptible to this pest, and can become distorted and completely covered with the waxy secretions of the insects.
  7. Honeydew attracts ants, which may spread the pest to other plants. Older leaves are less likely to warp than newer leaves.

Cane Mealybug - The World of Plants - Discover Artificial Intelligence and Agriculture


This insect is controlled agriculturally by selecting uninfected cane cuttings when planting. The cuttings prepared for planting can be immersed in a solution consisting of kerosene and soap for 5 minutes.

It is also recommended not to disturb the canes for more than two agricultural seasons, while taking care to burn the leaves and crop residues after cutting the plants. It is rare to combat this insect chemically.

Preventative measurements

  1. Use seeds, seedlings and propagation materials from healthy plants and approved sources.
  2. The field should be monitored regularly for signs of the pest.
  3. Remove and dispose of infected plants and their parts.
  4.  Getting rid of weeds in and around the field.
  5.  Alternative hosts should not be planted close to grape fields.
  6. Be careful not to transfer mealybugs during field work.
  7. Encourage the growth of natural enemies through good field practices such as using an insecticide specifically designed for mealybugs.
  8.  Follow a balanced fertilization program at specific intervals.
  9.  Avoid immersing the crop during the season. Control ants by using adhesive tapes on the trunks and branches.
  10. Pay attention to the cleanliness and disinfection of agricultural tools and machinery.
  11.  Practice crop rotation with host plants.

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