The papaya mealybug, Paracoccus marginatus has been on the move since it was found in Mexico in the 1955 but described in 1992. It has spread to the Caribbean, Florida, and South America, in the 1990s; Pacific in the early 2000; and it was found in Indonesia and Sri Lanka (2007), India (2008), Bangladesh (2009), Ghana and Benin (2009), Re Union Island (2010), Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines (2010). In a recent visit to Lahore, Pakistan, Mr. Reiz Mahmood and Mr. G.S. Solangi of CABI South Asia station, Rawalpindi, Pakistan informed me that the papaya mealybug has established in Karachi area of Sindh province in Pakistan. Both Sri Lanka and India have introduced the parasitoids Acerophagus papayae, Anagyrus loecki, and Pseudleptomastix mexicana for control of papaya mealybug. The parasitoid Acerophagus papayae has established fortuitously in some countries in Southeast Asia. It is possible that the parasitoids introduced in India may spread to Pakistan. In case that does not happen, it would be advisable for the Government of Pakistan to consider introduction of the parasitoids for control of the papaya mealybug.
Program Director, IPM CRSP