Maple Mealybug – Phenacoccus acericola

Maple Mealybug (Phenacoccus acericola)

Common Name: Maple Mealybug

Latin Name: Phenacoccus acericola


  • The name “mealybug” refers to the fine powdered “mealy” wax that coats the body.
  • Adult female mealybugs have no wings and are the easiest to identify.
  • Adult male mealybugs have wings. However, they are rarely observed outside of chemical-based traps.
  • Most adult female mealybugs are tiny (a few millimeters to less than 1/2 inch); thus, scouting with a hand lens is helpful. Mealybug immature or active “crawler” stages are less than half a millimeter long and can easily be transferred to new plants by wind currents.

Host plant:

Maple Mealybugs mostly inhabit maples, but they will infest basswood, buckeye, and viburnum.


Maple Mealybug is found throughout the United States.

Damages caused by Maple Mealybug:

The maple mealybug weakens the host by extracting sap and injecting saliva into the host, affecting new growth. This might result in distorted growth and early leaf drop.

Life history and habits:

Male nymphs are often longer than female nymphs and go through four to five nymphal stages. Males also undergo a pupal stage before becoming adults. Depending on the temperature and host plant, mealybugs typically finish their life cycle in one to three months. Cooler temperatures increase (delay) generation time. Mealybugs do not consume food and live for only a few days to breed with females. Female mealybugs breed asexually; males are absent. Most species’ females lay their eggs in a nest. Some species may lay up to 600 eggs in their lifetime, forming a waxy mass containing at least 50-100 eggs. Some species may survive without a host plant for 10 to 20 days. Typically, eggs hatch in 5 to 10 days, although exceptions exist.