Mexican Mealybugs – Phenacoccus gossypii

Mexican Mealybugs (Phenacoccus gossypii)

Common Name: Mexican Mealybugs

Latin Name: Phenacoccus gossypii


  • The adult female Mexican mealybug measures 3 to 4 mm in length, is oval in shape, grey, and coated in a thin waxy secretion. Down the back, there are three parallel rows of tiny waxy tufts.
  • Mealybugs with short tails are identified by caudal filaments no longer than one-fourth of the body length. Additionally, the lateral filaments are brief.
  • Male insects are tiny, gnat-like, and have just two wings. Male Mexican mealybug adults have four posterior filaments that are made of wax.
  • The egg sac is longer than the female secreting it and is white, thick, and thin. Nymphs: Nymphs are tiny, yellowish creatures that secrete white wax.

Host plant:

Many attractive plants, including Aralia, chrysanthemum, hollyhock, Ixia, lantana, English ivy, geranium, Gynura, and poinsettia, are frequently infested by the Mexican mealybug.


Mexican Mealybugs are found throughout in the United States

Damages caused by Mexican Mealybugs:

Common signs of a Mexican mealybug invasion include wilting and stunting. This bug has the same potential for harm as the citrus mealybug. The mealybugs and ovisacs also deform strongly infected plants.

Life history and habits:

One year might see seven whole generations of the Mexican mealybug. From oviposition to adulthood, it takes an average of 47 days. The average female lays 400 eggs. The female’s back gives rise to the ovisac, an extended cottony mass that houses the eggs. Its length is around 6 mm. In 6 to 14 days, the eggs will hatch. The male and female Mexican mealybugs have different life cycles. A female-only experiences the first three nymphal phases. Mexican mealybug males go through two phases of nymph development and two stages of rest (prepupal and pupal). Although they occasionally feed on the roots, these mealybugs are often found above ground on the leaves, stalks, or flowers.