TARGET PESTS: Mealybug and soft Scale. Citrus Mealybug (Planococcus citri), Affinis Mealybug (Pseudococcus affinis), Long-Tailed Mealybug (Pseudococcus longispinus), Obscure Mealybug (Pseudococcus obscures) and Cottony Cushion Scale.
DESCRIPTION: Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, commonly referred to as the Mealybug Destroyer, was originally imported into the United States from Australia in the 1890’s for the control of Citrus Mealybug in California. They are currently used in citrus for Citrus Mealybug; grapes for Grape and Obscure Mealybugs; in the Caribbean for the Pink Hibiscus Mealybug; greenhouses, arboretums, interiorscapes, zoos and aquariums for various species of mealybugs. Cryps are small coccinellid beetles, dark brown ladybugs with an orange head and tail (approximately 4 mm / 1/6 in long). The yellow eggs are deposited into the woolly egg masses singularly. The larvae are up to 13 mm (1/2 in) and are white with wax-like filaments covering them. Once the pupae hatch, they are found in sheltered places (underside of leaves, stems, greenhouse structures etc). The adults and larvae of Cryps feed on all stages of the mealybugs. Young larvae and adults prefer mealybug eggs and smaller stages of the mealybug. Older larvae eat all stages. Females deposit their eggs in the cottony egg- mass produced by female mealybugs. Cryptolaemus is not as effective on mealybugs that do not produce egg mass, such as the Long-tailed Mealybug. Cryptolaemus cannot survive sub-freezing temperatures and therefore need to be reintroduced in orchards or landscapes, where the winter temperatures are too low.
RELEASE RATES: Orchards & Vineyards: 1000-5000 per acre, 1-2 times per year.
Ornamentals, Greenhouses and Interior applications: 5-10 per plant and 100 per large tree.
Use the above numbers as an initial guideline. Cryps are more likely to lay eggs when there is at least some mealybug
egg mass present.
LIFE CYCLE: Egg to adult: 6.5 weeks, sex ratio of eggs 50% female. Each female adult lays 200-400 eggs, adults live 1-2 months. Development stages are: egg - 4 larval stages - pupa - adult.