Mealybugs are soft-bodied insects that are very closely related to scale insects. Plants that are infested with mealybugs often give the appearance of a plant covered with cotton, which is actually a white waxy protective covering on the mealybug. Mealybugs damage trees and plants by sucking sap, thus causing yellowing, stunted growth, galls, and dieback. As the mealybugs suck the sap, they excrete large amounts of honeydew, which is an undigested sugar. Often, other insects such as ants or wasps are drawn to the honeydew.
Mealybugs are generally found outdoors in warmer climates, and on indoor houseplants in colder climates.