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E. Vinje

Hi Cecelia –

When releasing predatory insects, like the mealybug destroyer (Cryptolaemus montrouzieri), you must make releases when the target pest is present but before their numbers get too large to achieve effective control. For best results, begin releases when pest populations are low to medium. If pest levels are high, use a least-toxic, short-lived natural pesticide (insecticidal soap, natural insecticide) to establish control, then release beneficials to maintain control.

• Adult beetles are shipped in vials mixed with paper strips to provide protection.
• Water the area to be protected and gently shake the contents evenly over, or near, the pest problem.
• Do NOT release during the sunny part of the day, but rather wait until evening or early morning.
• Repeat as necessary, usually once or twice per year.

While “Crypts” also feed on aphids and soft scale, when mealybugs are not present, they will most likely move out of the area in search of food. Multiple releases will allow the predator population to grow. The larger the population, the more effective the pest control.

Hope it helps!