Ornamental insects, Pests & Diseases
Mealybugs are worldwide pests of ornamental plants grown indoors and outdoors. Both greenhouse and field-grown ornamentals are commonly attacked.
Damage to ornamentals occurs when mealybugs insert their needlelike mouthparts into host plants and suck out the sap. Heavy infestations often result in the disfiguration of the plant. While feeding, the mealybug excretes honeydew, a sweet sticky liquid. Infested plant parts darken due to sooty mold growing on the honeydew. Ants may also feed on the honeydew. Some species of mealybugs inject a toxin into the plant while feeding. This toxin causes the plant to drop buds and leaves.
"SP290-S-Mealybugs on Ornamentals," The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, SP290S-1.5M-5/03(Rev) E12-4615-00-030-03, http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agexdise/35