Cryptolaemus montrouzieri

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Release Rates

2 - 8 each per 10 square feet

Technical Information

View FileMealybug Predators (5.82 MB)
View FileCryptolaemus montrouzieri Technical Information (316.44 KB)

Care & Release

Sprinkle water on the foliage of infected area prior to release to supply beetles with water. Optimum release time is in the evening the day you receive shipment. To release, gently tap the beetles out of the jar directly onto infested plants; specifically onto egg-masses. Leave filter paper from the jar near the site of release (it contains valuable food for the beetles). Store at 55-65┬░ F, for up to 18 hours in the shade, and do not refrigerate. Don't be alarmed if they are sluggish when you first open the box. Beetles will revive after 20 minutes of fresh air and light. Keep container cool until use and out of sunlight because it "cooks" them. Refrigeration makes them sterile. Light stimulates them to fly away from intended release point so avoid releasing them in bright sunlight or brightly lit greenhouses.

Mealybug Destroyer - Cryptolaemus montrouzieri

Target Pest: Citrus mealybug (Planococcus citri) and other related mealybugs

Description: Cryptolaemus is the most commonly used biological control for mealybugs. Adult beetles are dark brown with orange heads and tails, and are 1/6 in. long. Larvae are alligator shaped, up to ½ in. long, and are covered with white waxy hairs that make them resemble mealybugs.

Use in Biological Control: Cryptolaemus is used to control mealybugs mainly in interior plantscapes. They can be used outdoors, but will not survive sub-freezing temperatures. They are less effective on longtailed mealybug (Pseudococcus longispinus) because this species lacks the cottony masses that Cryptolaemus requires for egg laying.

Optimum conditions are 82°F (28°C) with relative humidity of 70-80%, but can be used in a temperature range of 61-91°F. Below 48°F, they are completely inactive and above 91°F they stop searching for prey. They are most active in sunlight, therefore are not as effective during dull winter months. For control of citrus mealybug, Cryptolaemus can be used along with the parasitic wasp Leptomastix dactylopii.

Life Cycle: The complete life cycle takes about 31 days at 81°F (27°C) and 45 days at 70°F (21°C). The 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. Females will lay 5-10 eggs per day, for a total of 400-500 eggs in their 50 day life time.

Larvae feed on mealybugs for 12-17 days, and then pupate in sheltered places on stems or on the greenhouse structures. A single larva can consume 250 small mealybugs. Adults will emerge in 7-10 days. They will then mate, and females begin laying eggs in about 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. 

Release Rates: Cryptolaemus is most effective when mealybug populations are high. Repeated releases are advisable if mealybug populations are low. Because many foliage plants grow slowly, it may take 2-4 months before results of mealybug control programs are apparent. Un-infested new growth is a sign of control.

Interior Plantscapes/Greenhouses: 5 beetles per infested plant, or 2-5 beetles per square yard.

Outdoors: 1,250-12,500 beetles per hectare (500-5,000 per acre) near the mealybug infestation. First releases outdoors should be in early spring.

Orchards: 2,500-5,000 beetles per hectare (1,000-2,000 per acre) for mature fruit trees. Repeat as needed.

Availability: In stock

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Note: The deadline for Cryptolaemus montrouzieri orders is at 2 pm on Fridays of each week, for shipment the following week.

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