mealy·​bug | \ ˈmē-lē-ˌbəg How to pronounce mealybug (audio) \

Definition of mealybug

: any of a family (Pseudococcidae) of scale insects that have a white cottony or waxy covering and are destructive pests especially of fruit trees

Examples of mealybug in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tremblaya helps to supply the mealybug with essential amino acids and likely receives nutrients and other life-sustaining molecules in return. Quanta Magazine, 20 June 2013 One such Russian-doll merger occurred about 100 million years ago, when the small insect pests called mealybugs acquired a bacterial endosymbiont, Tremblaya. Quanta Magazine, 3 Oct. 2019 Phillip and Beazley have found mango weevil, pink hibiscus mealybug and citrus canker. Laura Reiley, Washington Post, 27 Nov. 2019 Thus, Tremblaya and Moranella work together to produce essential amino acids for themselves as well as the ones that the mealybug cannot find in its strict sap diet. Quanta Magazine, 3 Oct. 2019 Examine houseplants and tropicals before bringing them indoors and discard any that are full of whitefly, scale, mealybugs or other tenacious pests. Washington Post, 29 Oct. 2019 The result is that the mealybug cell contains a bacterium that contains another bacterium – an arrangement discovered back in 2001 by Carol von Dohlen, a biologist at Utah State University. Quanta Magazine, 3 Oct. 2019 Yet that often has little effect in containing the disease, which is spread by tiny white insects called mealybugs. Olivia Konotey-ahulu / Bloomberg, Time, 6 Sep. 2019 With just 121 protein-coding genes, the diminutive Tremblaya princeps, a symbiotic bacterium that lives inside specialized cells of the sap-eating mealybug, has the smallest known genome of any cellular organism on the planet. Quanta Magazine, 20 June 2013 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mealybug.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of mealybug

1824, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About mealybug

Time Traveler for mealybug

Time Traveler

The first known use of mealybug was in 1824

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near mealybug

mealy bird


mealybug wilt

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for mealybug

Cite this Entry

“Mealybug.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on mealybug Encyclopedia article about mealybug


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!