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  • How do I release mealybug destroyers?

    Created by Cecelia on

    Hello –

    I live in Orlando, Florida and have a townhouse with an enclosed courtyard (not screened in). I have a grafted gardenia, a Meyer lemon tree, and a hibiscus, all in large pots in this courtyard. I have treated them for mealybugs many times over the last year but they seem to manage to create bad infestations on the gardenia, in particular.

    If I release the mealybug destroyers you sell to the plants will they continue to live on in the plants after the mealybugs are gone and continue to keep future infestations at bay, or will I have to purchase new mealybug destroyers when the mealybugs appear again?

    My gardenia is loaded with buds but will not bloom because of the mealybugs causing the buds to drop prematurely. The lemon tree is doing well but I see the mealybug infestation on it.

    Thank you,


  • Author
  • #262631

    Eric 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!




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