Bondi Junction NSW, Australia
Fact Sheets
2021-09-08T03:11:15.0469752Z
   7
Cassava mealybug (329)
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds

Summary

  • Widespread distribution. Southeast Asia, but NOT yet in Oceania. On cassava and relatives. Extremely important in Africa until effective biocontrol.
  • Causes loss of leaves (in Africa, cassava used as leafy vegetable), low root yields, and  poor cuttings for next crop.
  • Sucking of sap causes leaf distortion, leaf fall and shoot dieback. Honeydew falls on leaves resulting in sooty moulds.
  • Eggs on shoots, 'crawlers' hatch and disperse, settle, moult and become adults covered in pink wax, up to 2.5 mm long.
  • Spread by crawlers; they walk, or carried by wind, vehicles, animals, birds, on clothing, or on cuttings.
  • Natural enemies: ladybird beetles, and parasitoid wasps (e.g., Apoanagyrus lopezi).
  • Cultural control: avoid sandy or nutrient-poor soils; apply manure or mineral fertilizer, and use mulch to conserve moisture; hot water - put cuttings in equal amounts boiling and cold water for 5 minutes; collect and destroy debris after harvest; crop rotation (legumes, maize). 
  • Chemical control: avoid insecticides after release of biocontrol agents. Otherwise, use soap solution, horticultural or white oils (see Fact Sheet no. 56). Only use e.g., synthetic pyrethroids to kill ants.

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