Pink Hibiscus Mealybug (PHM)

Manatee County

Detected in northwest Manatee County in September 2005 on hybrid hibiscus plants.

By mid-December 2005, DPI inspector had released two species of beneficial, parasitic wasps (size of gnats):

  • 1,200 beneficial wasps released at three sites (approximately 3,600 thus far).
  • The wasps are having a visible, positive effect as seen in locally reduced infestations.

PHM also observed on other ornamentals: impatiens, viburnums, wedelia and others.


  • Insecticidal applications on infested plants: it is very Important to use low residual products (e.g., horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps) that will not kill these parasitic wasps. They ARE working!
  • Prune off heavily infested stems.
  • Double bag for disposal in landfill.
  • This sounds counterproductive, but…leave a small section of the plant unsprayed to provide a food source for these beneficial wasps.
  • Be responsible— tarp vehicles to prevent dispersal along maintenance routes.
  • The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services requests that commercial applicators and homeowners report infestations at the following number in order to initiate a release of the beneficial parasitic wasps:

Pink Hibiscus Mealybug
Pink Hibiscus Mealybug

Additional Information