The Genus Planococcus contains the insect commonly known as Mealy Bug, which is a major pest due to its ability to transfer the little cherry virus (LChV), causing ‘little cherry disease’. There are approximately 300 species of mealy bugs in North America, enhancing the likelihood of infestation under favourable circumstances.
Immature and adult mealybugs measure 0.5-8.0 mm in body length. All species are coated with a waxy secretion that hides the species’ identification features of these insects,. The coating can range from white, yellowish-white, whitish-grey, to pale blue in color. The body is oval and the sides of the body have short waxy filaments, which can sometimes be mistaken for numerous legs. Mealybugs can be found on all plant parts, but are more often found on the roots, rhizomes and the underside of leaves.
The major period of Mealybug movement from tree to tree is during the summer when nymphs are on leaves and can be transported by wind.