When to release Cryptolaemus should ideally be introduced at the first sign of pest activity. In orchard and field crops it is particularly important to get Cryptolaemus established before the pest population builds up to high and damaging levels. In indoor or nursery environments they are best released regularly whenever mealybugs or soft scale insects are present. Cryptolaemus and Green Lacewings work well together. How to release Before release, check prior history of chemical applications to ensure toxic residues are no longer present.
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When to release Cryptolaemus should ideally be introduced at the first sign of pest activity. In orchard and field crops it is particularly important to get Cryptolaemus established before the pest population builds up to high and damaging levels. In indoor or nursery environments they are best released regularly whenever mealybugs or soft scale insects are present. Cryptolaemus and Green Lacewings work well together.
How to release Before release, check prior history of chemical applications to ensure toxic residues are no longer present. See notes on chemical use below. Cryptolaemus larvae are despatched on strips of paper covered with fly eggs for them to feed on during transit. On arrival, theses strips of paper can be placed directly onto plant foliage near target pest infestations. Any larvae remaining in the tube should be tapped out onto plant foliage.
Adult beetles are supplied with honey or glucose syrup as a food source during transit. On arrival, they should be tapped out of their container onto plant foliage near target pest infestations.
Tubes of larvae should be stored on their side. Adult beetles should be supplied extra honey under the lids during storage. After release Adult beetles will rapidly disperse and begin feeding and laying eggs when they find prey. Do not expect to see adult beetles readily after release. It may be up to two weeks before their offspring can be observed feeding on pests. Larvae should commence feeding immediately after release.
They will then pupate and adult beetles will emerge to continue the cycle. Regular monitoring is recommended following release to check that Cryptolaemus have established.
The larvae look similar to mealybugs, so care should be taken not to confuse the two. Significant control is possible within one generation of Cryptolaemus. However, high pest populations may take longer and top-up releases may be required.
Cultural practices to aid establishment Ants are often associated with mealybug and scale infestations. Ants actively defend these pests from their natural enemies. Controlling or reducing ant numbers can improve the efficacy of biocontrol agents that target mealybugs and scale insects. See our ant control blog for further information. When releasing adult ladybird beetles, we recommend the use of sleeve cages to monitor and aid in the establishment of a local breeding population.
Practices that reduce wind and dust will help the beetles establish. Avoid releasing the beetles where bright lights may attract them away from the release area e. Chemical use Pesticide residues may slow or prevent the establishment of Cryptolaemus. Copper and nutritional sprays are generally not harmful and many miticides are also quite safe. Organophosphate, carbamate and synthetic pyrethroid insecticides are very toxic and should be avoided where possible. If these sprays are applied, a minimum of 4 weeks should elapse before Cryptolaemus are released.
Prevent drift of pesticides from neighbouring areas. Some insect growth regulators IGRs are also harmful to predatory beetles. If pesticides are required, always check for side-effects and select products that are least harmful to Cryptolaemus and other key beneficials in your IPM program. Use the Biobest Side Effects app or access the Biobest side-effects manual online. Cryptolaemus in action This video shows cryptolaemus feeding on mealybug. Other natural enemies of mealybug The parasitic wasp Leptomastix dactylopii The parasitic wasp Leptomastidea abnormis.
Coleoptera: Coccinellidae Mealybug Destroyer This beetle was imported into the United States in from Australia by one of the early biological control pioneers, Albert Koebele, to control citrus mealybug in California. Although C. Top: Mealybug destroyer adult and larva attacking citrus mealybugs. Photo: Jack Kelly Clark Appearance Cryptolaemus montrouzieri is a small about mm long , dark brown lady beetle with a tan to orange head and posterior. The larvae grow up to 1. Raupp Habitat Citrus groves in the coastal areas of California, interiorscapes, and greenhouses. In addition, C.