A Happy Seedling
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Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:41 pm
Location: USDA Hardiness Zone 7a

Pet Mealybug(s)?

I know this sounds like a stupid idea, but...
I found a small white ball of fluff that had fallen out of a tree. It was pitifully squirming on the ground so I picked it up, put it on a paper plate with a leaf, and went to identify it. It was a mealybug. Now it resides in a jar with some stems and leaves fresh-snipped from my hibiscus, and some hosta and beech leaves.
Questions:
--Can it be fed like this? Does it absolutely NEED live plants, or can I simply feed with fresh cut stems, or maybe sugar water-covered twigs?
--What plants does it like? I'm currently feeding hibiscus.
--Will it create a colony on its own, or do I need to find more mealybugs and add them so they can breed?
--Does it need ants to survive? Even when sheltered from predators?

Thanks,
A Happy Seedling
When I wait 3 months for my mango seedling to sprout, and then it damps off.
:evil:

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applestar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Pet Mealybug(s)?

Well now. You have unusual interests, for sure, and that's coming from me....

Mealybugs as you may know are considered pests, especially on indoor plants, so I can probably give you a fair description of what they might like.

I don't believe they will do well on cut off leaves and sprigs since they are suck plant juices. The snipped plant matter would have to be super fresh and probably not kind that oozes sap or wilts rapidly, losing sap pressure.

You may want to look up the tree it fell out of in case this mealybug is specific to the species or family of plant. If it fell out of hibiscus as in rose of sharon, dig up what should be one of numerous volunteer seedlings/saplings and pot it up for your pets habitat.

Related to scale, I suspect they are born pregnant, but where there is one, there will be more, if you are inclined to gather more.

Ants are not necessary.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

A Happy Seedling
Green Thumb
Posts: 303
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:41 pm
Location: USDA Hardiness Zone 7a

Re: Pet Mealybug(s)?

It fell out of a beech. Would it eat lilies?
When I wait 3 months for my mango seedling to sprout, and then it damps off.
:evil:

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applestar
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Posts: 28182
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Pet Mealybug(s)?

Insects often need specific • particular plant hosts.

Try this (I haven't tread it but it looks like there is a downloadable pdf)
Habits and biology of the beech mealybug, Peliococcus serratus (Ferris) (Coccoidea, Pseudococcidae)
https://agris.fao.org/agris-search/searc ... =US8728800
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

A Happy Seedling
Green Thumb
Posts: 303
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:41 pm
Location: USDA Hardiness Zone 7a

Re: Pet Mealybug(s)?

I obtained a baby acacia tree, potted it, and put the bug there, then put a plastic bag over the tree and bug. I'll see if this works.
When I wait 3 months for my mango seedling to sprout, and then it damps off.
:evil:

ButterflyLady29
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Posts: 1031
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:12 am
Location: central Ohio

Re: Pet Mealybug(s)?

Keep your pet and it's plant screened or bagged. They don't fly but they can and do crawl quite a ways. I accidentally brought some home in an orchid. They spread to my abutilon then my geraniums and have now invaded my amaryllis bulbs. It seems like as soon as I get one plant cleared up they show up on another.

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