A mealybug pest first detected in Florida in 2009 has been found injuring citrus. The lebbeck mealybug (Nipaecoccus viridis) was reported to feed on a variety of plant species in Florida. In 2019, it was found feeding and injuring commercial citrus for the first time. Lebbeck mealybugs prefer to feed on fast growing plant tissue like new growth and fruit.
Mealybugs are small soft insects that often have waxy covering around them. They feed on plant sap from plant tissue. There are other mealybugs that can feed on citrus and it can be difficult to distinguish mealybug species. Contact the Division of Plant Industry at DPIHelpline@FreshFromFlorida.com or 1-888-397-1517 if you suspect you have found lebbeck mealybugs.
For more information about the lebbeck mealybug, check out the FDACS-DPI Pest Alert here: https://www.fdacs.gov/content/download/84014/file/pest-alert-nipaecoccus-viridis.pdf
The UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center also provided information about the lebbeck mealybug: https://crec.ifas.ufl.edu/citrus-production/lebbeck-mealybug/