The lebbeck mealybug has been found in southern Florida, marking the first time that pest has been found in the United States.


The insect, which is found throughout Asia and Africa, feeds on twigs, shoots, leaves, flower buds and fruit, secreting large amounts of honeydew, according to a news release.


The pest was detected on dodder, a parasitic weed, near Boynton Beach. It also was found in a residential area.


Elsewhere, it feeds on a wide variety of plants and crops, including tropical fruits, citrus, avocados, soybeans, cotton and ornamentals.


A handful of parasites found in Florida, including the mealybug destroyer, do feed on it.


To read the full pest alert announcement, visit the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.