‘Mealybugs Are Just Mealybugs’: They’re Cool But They Won’t Turn Into Beetles

A Texas A&M bug expert offers advice on avoiding a mealybug infestation.

By Laura RiceDecember 27, 2017 11:49 am,

Wizzie Brown works with insects at the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service, so she’s an expert on mealybugs.

“Mealybugs are different than mealworms,” she says. “Mealworms turn into beetles, and mealybugs are just mealybugs.”

Brown says mealybugs are a piercing, sucking pest. “They have a soda straw kind of mouth part that they will jam into plants and suck out the plant juice,” she says. “And they are wingless. They’re oval in shape and they’re covered with this white, mealy wax, which is where they get their name, mealybug.”

She says heavy infestations can lead to browning, even death of the plant.

“A lot of times when people bring potted plants from outside indoors, then they’re kind of infesting their house,” Brown says. “And sometimes they might be on poinsettias that people buy at the store at certain times of the year. So always check your plants and make sure they are mealybug-free before you bring them home with you.”


Written by Jen Rice.