Predatory Cryptolaemus montrouzieri beetle
Cryptolaemus montrouzieri are called as Mealybug destroyers because they voraciously feed on mealybugs and destroy their large populations.
Adults of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri look like ladybugs except that they are mostly brown in color with yellowish orange colored head and have no spots on their wings. Larva of this insect is small and their appendages are covered with white wooly material that makes them resembling to mealybugs. Females of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri lay eggs near egg bags of mealybugs. Depending on the temperature, eggs hatch with 7-8 days. Immediately after hatching from eggs, larvae start feeding on the eggs and young larvae of mealybugs. While feeding larvae develop through 3 larval stages and fully developed larvae pupate in protected structures. Pupal stage lasts for 7-10 days and adults emerge from pupae and start feeding on mealybugs. While feeding on mealybugs, adults mate and females start laying eggs and life cycle continues. Adult of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri generally live and keep destroying mealybugs for 3-4 months.
- + Effective against the following species of mealybugs
- The citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri
- The comstock mealybug, Pseudococcus comstocki
- The obscure mealybug, Pseudococcus obscurus
- The solenopsis mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis
- The Mexican mealybug, Phenacoccus gossypii
- The long-tailed mealybug, Pseudococcus longispinus
- + How Cryptolaemus montrouzieri can destroy mealybugs?
- Females of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri beetle generally lay over 400 eggs among the cottony egg-bags of melaybugs. These eggs hatch into small larvae and immediately start feeding on the mealybug eggs, young nymphs/larvae of mealybugs and honeydews produced by mealybugs. The larvae of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri beetle also look like larvae of mealybugs but their body is covered with white colored material. Each larva of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri beetle can consume over 250 eggs and young mealybugs. The matured larvae then pupate on plant stems. Pupal stage lasts for 7 to 10 days and the adults emerged from pupae can live for 3-4 months. Like larvae, after emerging from pupae, adults of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri begin feeding on all the stages of melaybugs and destroy their large populations.
- + How Cryptolaemus montrouzieri are released?
- Cryptolaemus montrouzieri shipped as pre-fed, pre-mated, insectary-reared adults. Since the adult mealybug destroyer beetles can fly away from the container, open vials/containers near mealybug infested areas and plants. At the time of releasing beetles, make sure that the windows and vents are closed so that beetles remain confined in the greenhouses or other closed areas. Release 2-3 adults on a mealybug infested leaf. These beetles perform better when temperature is between 64-91°F and a relative humidity above 70%.
- + How many Cryptolaemus montrouzieri should be released?
- Greenhouses: Release 2-3 adults per square foot area.
- In the open field: About 1000 adults per hectare.
- + What care should be taken upon arrival of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri?
- Release them within 24 hours of their arrival.
- Before releasing in the greenhouses, they can be stored in cool place at between 4 to 10°C temperature.
- Avoid exposure to direct sunlight meaning store them in dark place.
- + Why they are safer than traditional pesticides
- they are not harmful to children, pets and the environment.
- they do not harm plants and like pesticides, there is no question of leaving any toxic chemical residue on the produce that is ready to eat.
- do not cause any harm to the personnel involved in their production or application.
- Therefore, any produce including all vegetables are safe to handle and eat when they are treated with mealybugs destroyer.
- + Research Papers