Mealybug infestations of above-the ground plant parts start with the appearance of crawlers (the first- instar nymphs) on the underside of the leaves on terminal shoots, stems and other plant parts. Heavy mealybug attack appears as white, waxy masses of mealybugs on stems, nuts and along the veins on the underside of leaves. Heavy infestations usually result in coating of adjacent stems, leaves and nuts with honeydew and sooty mould. Severely infested plants may wilt due to sap depletion; leaves turn yellow, gradually dry and ultimately fall off. Feeding on nuts results in discoloured, bumpy, and scarred nuts, with low market value, or unacceptable for the fresh fruit market.
- Conserve natural enemies. Mealybugs are usually controlled by a wide range of natural enemies. However, use of pesticides may kill these natural enemies leading to mealybug outbreaks.