USE IN BIOLOGICAL CONTROL: Cryptolaemus montrouzieri is the most commonly used biological control for mealybugs. Cryptolaemus is used to control mealybugs mainly in interior plantscapes. They can be used outdoors, but will not survive sub-freezing temperatures.
To keep mealybug populations down to acceptable levels in greenhouses, several releases of Cryptolaemus may be necessary, particularly during winter months. They are less effective on longtailed mealybug (Pseudococcus longispinus) because this species lacks the cottony masses Cryptolaemus requires for egg laying.
Adults and young larvae prefer to eat mealybug eggs, but older larvae will feed on all stages of mealybugs. The adults can fly and cover large areas to search for food. If food is scarce they will also eat soft scales and aphids.
LIFE CYCLE: The complete life cycle takes about 31 days at 81°F (27°C) and 45 days at 70°F (21°C). Sex ratio in the population is about equal, with somewhat fewer females than males (40% females).
Eggs are laid among the cottony egg masses of mealybugs; they hatch in 5-6 days at 81°F (27°C). Females lay 5-10 eggs per day, for a total of 400-500 eggs in their 50-day lifetime. Larvae feed on mealybugs for 12-17 days, then pupate in sheltered places on stems or on the greenhouse structures. A single larva can consume 250 small mealybugs. Adults emerge in 7- 10 days, mate, and females begin laying eggs in 5 days.
Adults and young larvae prefer to eat mealybug eggs, but older larvae will feed on all stages of mealybugs. If food is scarce they will also eat soft scales and aphids
APPLICATION RATES:Low: 0.2-0.4 per square foot
High: 1-1.2 per square foot
APPLICATION TIPS: Upon receipt keep out of direct light until ready to release
To release, walk through the grow area and allow the insects to escape while gently tapping the container if need be.
Avoid wearing bright clothing when releasing.
For those inexperienced with beneficial insects we recommend using Green Lacewings for mealybug control instead of Cyptolaemus