On Jul 26, 2006, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:
A tiny insect that feeds on a few species of Prickly Pear Cacti (Opuntia sp.). It burrows into the areole and emits a fuzzy, sticky white substance. It will eventually kill the plant if left untreated. Cochineal, if squished, will produced a crimson red liquid that has been used for centuries as a red dye.
One of the treatments that I use to eradicate the bug is by spraying a biodegrateable, diluted dish-soap mixture with water on to the affected areas. Several treatments may be necessary.
On Sep 11, 2006, MyHiraeth from Lisbon Portugal (Zone 10a) wrote:
Hard to get rid of. Act immediately on first sighting - the more they are the harder it will be to really dismiss them. Dish detergent is helpful when washing them away from the plant - which from my experience is the only truly effective way to get rid of cochineas.
In my area they attack a variety of plants, namely bougainvilleas.