Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HT NAVI MUMBAI -

Mealy­bugs are soft-bod­ied, wing­less in­sects found in places with warm cli­mates.

They of­ten ap­pear as white cot­tony masses on the leaves, stems and fruit of plants.

They feed by in­sert­ing long suck­ing mouth parts, called stylets, into the plants which draw the sap out of the tis­sue.

Dam­age is not of­ten sig­nif­i­cant if pests are fewer in num­ber. How­ever, in higher num­bers they can cause leaf yel­low­ing and curl­ing as the plant weak­ens.

Feed­ing is usu­ally ac­com­pa­nied by honey­dew, which makes the plant sticky and en­cour­ages the growth of sooty moulds.

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