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The golden root mealybug, Chryseococcus arecae was first recorded in Britain in 2012. It is a native of New Zealand that unlike other root mealybug species found in Britain can be found on the roots of outdoor plants all year round.
Golden root mealybug © FERA/David Crossley
Golden root mealybug is a sap feeding insect that feeds on the roots of a wide variety of plants, although it has mainly been found on Meconopsis and Primula in the Britain. Unlike most other mealybug species found in the Britain it is able to survive the winter outdoors.
The golden root mealybug is a recent arrival in the Britain, and has so far been found in Scotland and northern England. In 2019 it was reported from Northern Ireland. The RHS wants gardeners finding this insect in their garden to let them know by sending samples to the Entomology Team, RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey GU23 6QB. The postcode of the house/garden where the pest has been found should be given, along with the identity of the host plants, or if unknown a sample of the foliage and flowers.
Submissions to our pest and disease surveys are stored permanently in an anonymised form in order to monitor the spread of the pest or disease. We may contact you within 2 months of your submission in order to verify your sighting but your personal data will not be permanently stored in connection with your submission and will be deleted after 1 year. We publish and share only non-identifiable data from survey submissions (such as a six figure grid reference) with third parties and the public for the purposes of scientific research and advancing understanding among gardeners.
You may see the following symptoms:
There are currently no pesticide controls for root mealybugs in the open ground. Heavily infested plants can be removed and burnt or disposed of in council waste.
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