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Mealybug control

The Pest

 


There are three common mealy bug species found in glasshouses.  The most common is the citrus mealy bug (Planococcus citri), the vine mealy bug (Pseudococcus affinis) is similar and is found on cactus, passiflora and tomato, and the long tailed mealy bug (Pseudococcus longispinus) is found on tropical plants.
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Citrus mealybug 

  

 

Biological Controls

 


» CRYPTOSURE (m) Cryptolaemus montrouzieri in units of 25
» LEPTOSURE (d) Leptomastix dactylopii in units of 100
» MEALYSURE (mix) A mix of Leptomastix dactylopii, Anagyrus pseudococci and Leptomastidea abnormis in units of 50

Leptomastix dactylopii adult

 

 

 

 

Cryptosure (m)

The larvae and adults of the Australian predatory ladybird Cryptolaemus montrouzieri feed almost exclusively on mealy bugs.  The adult is about 4mm long, mostly brown or black with a distinctive orange head.  The larval stage grows up to 1cm in length and is covered in white waxy filaments, looking like an oversized mealy bug (Cryptolaemus larvae have longer wax filaments).

Cryptolaemus dislike some hairy plants and may not work well on or be attracted to cacti.  They need woolly egg masses of mealy bugs in which to lay their eggs so mealy bug species which don’t produce these may not be controlled.

The life cycle from egg to adult takes 25 days at 30°C and 72 days at 18°C. Cryptolaemus are largely inactive at temperatures below 15°C and work best at temperatures between 21°C and 30°C in bright sunny conditions. After mating, females can lay up to 500 eggs into the mealy bug masses.

Directions for Use

 

Cryptolaemus adult

 

 

Leptosure (d)

Parasitic wasps are also available to help in the control of citrus mealy bug and are best used in conjunction with Cryptolaemus. 

Leptomastix dactylopii, is effective against citrus mealy bug but will not attack the vine mealy bug (for this species Leptomastix epona should be used). 

Leptomastix dactylopii is a yellowish brown parasitic wasp about 3mm long. It is host specific to citrus mealy bug and lays its eggs into the third larval and adult stages. The parasite pupates within the mealy bug after the larva has consumed the body fluids. From egg to adult takes 16 days at 26°C and 13 days at 30°C.

Directions for Use

 

Leptomastix dactylopii adult 4

 

 

Mealysure (mix)

Mealybug mix contains a selection of parasite species. 

For Citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri, the mix contains Leptomastix dactylopii, Anagyrus pseudococci and Leptomastideaabnormis.  

For glasshouse mealybug, Pseudococcus viburni, the mix contains Leptomastix epona and Anagyrus pseudococci

All these species are tiny (3mm or less) parasitic wasps.

Temperatures of between 18°C and 30°C are required for their development.  One life cycle taking about a month at 20°C.  Adults are most active on warm sunny days.  The wasps lay eggs in the mealybugs, which become brown and mummified after about 2 weeks.

Directions for Use