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 (scale insects)


  • Stinging-sucking insects belonging to the order Hemiptera and the superfamily Coccoideae.
  • Several species parasitize vegetables, especially floury plants belonging to the Pseudococcidae family.
  • They lack a horny shield (a kind of shell), and the body is usually covered with a white mealy secretion. They also have lateral waxy filaments clearly visible at the periphery of the body, and a cottony secretion containing the eggs can sometimes be noticed at the end of the abdomen.
  • By way of example we will describe the characteristics of the species Pseudococcus viburni (Signoret) (syn. Pseudococcus affinis [Maskell]).
  • Insects observed in open fields and under shelters.


 Sensitive botanical family (s) * :

Pseudococus sp. Solanaceaees Cucurbits
 Paracoccus marginatus Solanaceaes Cucurbits
 Phenacoccus gossypii Solanaceaes  
Orthezia sp. Solanaceaes  


Affected production area :

Pseudococcus sp. Mayotte Reunion island
  Guyana New Caledonia
  French Polynesia  
Paracoccus marginatus Mayotte Reunion island
  Guyana French Polynesia
Phenacoccus gossypii  Reunion island  Guyana
Orthezia sp.  Guyana  

Organs attacked

Leaves Fruits Stems


Symptoms, damage

  • Symptoms :
    • Reduced plant growth due to the numerous bites and food sucks exerted by the larvae and females of mealybugs present, especially on the stem.
    • Deformation of the leaves which can be more or less curled, blistered, embossed, etc.
      • Presence of honeydew and subsequently Fumagine covering the surface of the affected aerial organs (figures).
      • Sooty mold, by reducing photosynthesis and respiration, causes yellowing and leaf damage. It also stains the fruits or alters their coloring, making them unmarketable (figure).
  • Signs : Presence of larvae and adults on the affected organs (figures).
  • Possible confusion :



  •  Development cycle : involves
    • Eggs laid inside a white waxy ovisac.
    • After hatching, the first instar larvae disperse on infested plants.
    • After the second larval stage, this insect will form two successive false nymphs in which the males will undergo a metamorphosis.
    • Adults, small winged midges whose life is ephemeral. Females, measuring 4 mm in length, do not undergo metamorphosis and therefore do not change shape. The pinkish color of their body is masked by white mealy wax.
  • Dispersion : by plant material, but also by workers during cultivation operations, animals.
  • P. viburni tolerates cold fairly well and overwinters as a non-diapausing nymph in the soil. It can be maintained on other alternative hosts, in particular on potato, apple tree, lemon tree, vine.



  • Create a crawl space on the farm if the cochineal populations are important.
  • Leach with water and treat the walls of shelters, posts, concrete walkways with an insecticide or a contact acaricide.
  • Disinfect the equipment used in the greenhouse (drip system, boxes, etc.).
  • Disinfect the reused substrate or soil.
  • Produce the seedlings in an nursery insect-proof .
  • Check the sanitary quality of the plants before and during their introduction into the crop or shelter.
  • Remove and destroy infested plant debris and crop residues.
  • Reason for  chemical protection, in particular if you use auxiliaries or biopesticides , especially since most insecticides are not very effective on whiteflies.
  • Treat plants before uprooting in the presence of high pest populations.
Last change : 11/16/21
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