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Is a Mealybug an Insect?



A mealybug is an insect.

More Info: The mealybug is an insect from the family Pseudococcidae. It belongs to the order Homoptera, which is any group of sap-sucking insects.  The insect’s body is covered with a white, powdery substance giving it its name.

Members of the Pseudococcidae Family?

The mealybug is a member of the Pseudococcidae family, which includes long-tailed mealybugs, Pritchard’s mealybugs, citrus mealybugs, pink hibiscus mealybugs, Mexican mealybugs and apple mealybugs. With approximately 275 species of mealybugs in the continental United States alone, these small insects are significant agricultural pests. They are responsible for millions of dollars of loss to growers each year, especially in greenhouses and indoor gardens. This destruction is caused mainly by their feeding methods which lead to plant dieback, premature dropping of leaves and, if left unchecked, plant death.

What Are Common Members of the Homoptera Order?

Mealybugs are also from the order Homoptera along with cicadas, leaf hoppers, aphids, white flies, and scales. There are more than 32,000 species in this order worldwide. All members of this order feed on plants and thus are generally found where plants are cultivated, field crops and greenhouses. Different species feed on different parts of plants. Some feed on the plant stalks, while others prefer the plant leaves or roots. Homoptera are considered harmful, but some are a benefit to mankind. One species is used to provide the pigment in making dyes. Another species is used in making varnish and shellac.



[1] “Mealybug (insect) — Britannica Online Encyclopedia.” Encyclopedia – Britannica Online Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 June 2011. <>.

” Family: Pseudococcidae (mealybugs).” EDIS – Electronic Data Information Source – UF/IFAS Extension. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2011. <>.

“ORDER Homoptera .” College of Agriculture & Natural Resources | University of Delaware. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2011. <>.


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