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Golden root mealybug

Chryseococcus arecae

Golden root mealybug

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Golden root mealybug is an invasive species native to New Zealand. Their arrival first became evident in 2012 when sightings surfaced in Scotland. Now, they are spreading southwards and have reached as far as Northern England. These mealybugs are easily distinguishable because of their gold colouring. Likewise, they're the only species that feed primarily on plant roots that can survive outdoor winter conditions in the UK. When plants become infected, they struggle to perform their duties properly, appearing less vigorous. Not to be confused with the root aphid or root mealybugs, that are both white.
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Traits

An invasive species of mealybug who may affect plant vigour.

Appearance

Because these bugs spend all their time beneath the ground, they can only be detected when plants are pulled up and inspected. You may see aggregations of tiny golden-yellow insects with wax-like deposits covering the roots of infested plants. So far it's thought the damage caused by these insects is minimal for most infestations, however, more research is needed to better understand the repercussions of these insects in the garden.

Symptoms

Plants may appear to lack vigour. If you suspect an infestation it's advised to pull up plants and inspect them.

Activity

Nocturnal

Personality

Order

Hemiptera

Family

Pseudococcidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Originating from New Zealand, these insects have now spread to Europe and Northern parts of the UK.

Biological treatment

There are currently no biological treatments available for this pest.

Chemical treatment

There are currently no pesticides on the market for this pest. If infestations are particularly bad it is advised to remove the plant and burn any remains.

Attracts

These mealybugs are highly general so can be found across many plant species, but always targeting the roots.
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