Bugging Out blog post image Prickly Pear Cactus
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Bugging Out

Cochineal scale insects (Dactylopius coccus) grow on cacti in the Southwest. The infestation may be be all over the cactus plant as tiny white pulpy blobs. The insects produce carminic acid, which deters most other insect predators and produces a deep red color known as carmine.