Cactus Mealy Bug (Hypogeococcus festerianus)

Order: Homoptera (ho-MOP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Pseudococcidae (soo-do-KOK-sid-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hypogeococcus
Species: festerianus


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Blackhawk-camino Tassajara, California
Brawley, California
Chula Vista, California
Fresno, California
Mountain View, California
North Hollywood, California
Westminster, Colorado
Carrabelle, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Winter Park, Florida
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Topeka, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas
Coushatta, Louisiana
Penobscot, Maine
Nettleton, Mississippi
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Bayboro, North Carolina
Mount Orab, Ohio
Bray, Oklahoma
Salem, Oregon
Butler, Tennessee
Dallas, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Houston, Texas
Huntsville, Texas
Irving, Texas
Katy, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Woodstock, Virginia
Auburn, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Jan 24, 2011, coleuslover123 from Mount Laurel, NJ wrote:

I'm having problems with mealy bugs on my coleus inside under lights. I think part of the problem is that they are too crowded and maybe I over water. I had to throw out one plant where they kept coming back even after about 5 treatments. I swab them with q tip dipped in alcohol then spray with insecticidial soap, but I may need to start doing something more drastic if they persist. I think you can only readily see the females. The males are not white and I think they look like gnats.


On Sep 8, 2009, eglantine2 from Penobscot, ME wrote:

I have not received any mail, so I cannot rate anything.
I have been using only alcohol to get rid of the mealys when I see them, I have not used any other insecticides as the plants are in my house and I have cats who are very sensitive to poisons. I would like suggestions as to how to rid the mealys from my affected plants. The Hoya is a vine (about 20+ft. long which curls around many times on a trellis and cannot be moved out of its area. The bug starts as a small white fuzz about 1/4 in, I think it is an egg mass, Under the white mass are many mm long oval, orange colored soft bodied slow moving many legged insects. Although I have never seen the hatching, this sequence appears often so I deduct these sequences. I hope someone can give me some suggestions on how to get rid of... read more


On Sep 23, 2008, flofertig from Chula Vista, CA wrote:

I do not know for certain that this is the cactus mealy bug, but it resembles the picture found on this web site to a "T". They are on my lemons from my lemon tree. When I first noticed them (by pulling off a fruit that was infected --mushy yuch!) I thought they were come kind of scale because they were lined up in rows overlapping each other. Then my grandson put one under his microscope and we realized that they were bugs! I am going to try the insecticidal soap remedies first.. then if need be the commercial products. My lemon tree is approximately 60 years old and is still giving lemons all of the time. When my Dad was alive, that darn tree gave up 1 to 2 lb lemons all year round, now I get big lemons all year round, but not that big!


On Jul 6, 2008, florida_nurse from Vero Beach, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

July 6, 2008: I have found this bug on one leaf of one of my many orchid plants. I have removed and discarded the infected leaf but am not sure how to treat the rest of the plant to be sure I have gotten all the infestation. Does anyone have any suggestions? The infestation came on very fast and the orchid leaf was withered and dying within days! Also, I have not brought any new plants into my "orchid area" of my screen porch. I wonder how the mealy bugs got on the plant? Can anyone explain "what" mealy bugs are? Are they an actual insect? Any information is most appreciated.


On Feb 7, 2008, lexipie from Huntsville, TX wrote:

These bugs like to colonize mainly in my variegated agaves. They are very invasive and will destroy a plant. Many of my agaves have 'dents' in the leaves from the mealy bugs sucking the juice out. Destroy them immediately if you find them on your plants!


On Oct 18, 2007, buttercup52 from Olalla,
Canada wrote:

Here in British Columbia, Canada we have problems with the mealy bugs too. We have desert areas with cactus, our own plants are fighting them. Have a daily search and destroy mission.


On Jul 26, 2006, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is a very bad bug. Infestations will kill cacti as well as other plants. They look like tiny football shapes on the plant about 1/8 inch long. One of the treatments are to spray 90% isopropyl alcohol on the affected areas. Neem oil spray is also effective on large infestations.