The grooved mealybug , so to speak, is one of the worst nightmares for farmers, since they are difficult to eradicate and always attack citrus, putting a lot of eggs, of which most adults reach.
Cochineals, like aphids, are the most common pests in our garden and there are several species of these insects.
If you have a lemon tree in your house, you will probably find some cotton spots on the tree’s stem . If so, you will be in the presence of the fluted cochineal. Why do we call them that? Because they have grooves in their torso.
This type of cochineal is able to dry the plant completely if we don’t do something. In short, we could describe it as the citrus tick such as lemon, orange, etc., although it is also common to see it in passion fruit, mint, good herb, rosemary, thyme and oregano, among other aromatic herbs. .
Learn more about ribbed cochineal (lcerya purchasi)
It is an insect belonging to the old order of the homoptera as well as the whitefly and the aphid. It has a sucking spout that uses it to pierce the plant and thus suck its sap and feed.
It affects numerous plants and lives in colonies, so it is easy to see it grouped along the branches. The appearance of the bold fungus, the sticky molasses on the trees and the ants in the garden could be some of its serious consequences.
The female usually measures approximately half a centimeter and has a brown and reddish oval body with the back covered with a white waxy ovisaco with longitudinal grooves . Hence its name. These grooves serve to carry hundreds of eggs and the ovisaco can be even longer than the insect itself, which gives it protection.
The eggs are also reddish and are grouped by waxy threads. The fluted cochineal makes three molts and its metamorphosis is incomplete, although they tend to move throughout their cycle unlike other cochineals that do not. The nymphs that have just been born are orange and their legs are black. You can locate them on the back of the sheets.
Then, they move to the branches and the trunk where they become adults and reproduce sexually, although it is somewhat difficult to see males in the colony. For this reason, they reproduce through parthenogenesis , that is, a form of reproduction that is based on the development of unfertilized female sex cells.
How to fight it?
- Get neem oilor any organic product by irrigation that turns the sage of the bitter plant. quantity? From 3 to 5 cc per liter of water every 30 days.
- Make a treatment with potassium soap. Dilute it in water at two percent.
- Make sure that the ribbed mealybug is not being defended by ants. If so, treat them too.
- Remove the affected part and burn it.
- If these methods do not work, then you can do a cleaning with pressurized water.
- Buy predators such as Rodolia cardinalisto get rid of the plague, since it acts by eating the cochineal, so it is 100 percent effective.