This species attacks an extremely wide range of plant hosts. In Hawaii it is a pest of pineapple, mango, macadamia, orchids, bromeliads, palm coffee, citrus, and sugar cane, among other plants. In other states it may be found on virtually any kind of plant, both indoors or outdoors in mild climates. Females deposit exposed eggs singly or in small batches, with up to 240 eggs per female possible. Eggs hatch almost immediately and once they begin feeding the first instar nymphs exude a white wax that coats their bodies. In the second instar stage males complete their feeding and settle down to molt to the adult stage. Females undergo 3 instars before becoming an adult, and about 1 month is needed to complete development. Females live several months while males die immediately after mating.
A great many predators, both natural and imported, help to reduce the populations of this mealybug. Excessive reliance on pesticides seems to encourage a rebound of the mealybug after natural enemies are killed. A strong stream of water can remove the insects in mild infestations. A combination of a contact insecticide and insecticidal soap has shown to be somewhat effective, as is the use of a systemic soil applied product for ornamental shrubs or trees.