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cocciniglia cotonosa

Mealybugs are very annoying insects, often and difficult to identify, which nest in the lower part of the leaves of garden plants (especially lemons and other citrus fruits, but also in many other plants). Usually the females of the insect strike the plant, which have hermaphrodite peculiarities, therefore they are able to reproduce autonomously by self-fertilizing.

The cochineal, once attacked the plant, sucks its vital lymph and emits a sort of sugary honeydew very appetizing for some insects and fertile ground for fungi; on plants attacked by cochineal it is easy to notice the presence of many ants that are attracted to the sugary substance present on the leaves. The mushroom that is created is called fumaggine and we will deal with it in the other chapter.

Among the most common cochineals we remember Iceria, Saissetia (with rigid external shield, often dark in color), Ceroplastes (with adult forms covered with a waxy shield), Chloropulvinaria (or flaky cochineal), Pseudococcus and planococcus (mealy cochineal). We also have the half peppercorn cochineal, known by the scientific name Saissetia oleae, is a typical parasite of the olive tree and the fig cochineal.
If the infestation is minor, they can be removed manually, taking care to disinfect the holes left by the insects with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol. If the infestation were to be massive it is good to intervene using white oil, perhaps activated with pireto for a more effective action.

Widespread methods are also the insertion of antagonistic insects such as Anagyrus pseudococci (a parasitoid) and Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (a predatory ladybird).

Another natural method is with soft potassium soap or Marseille soap, which is an excellent anti-cochineal insecticide. This treatment works by occluding the pores of the insect until it dies.

cocciniglia nera
prodotti per il giardinaggio
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