The mealybug destroyer, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri

The mealybug destroyer, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, is a small (1/5") black lady beetle with a tan front end and a voracious appetite for mealybugs and some soft scales. Cryptolaemus will feed on other insects, mealybugs and soft scales are their main targets.

C.montrouzieri larvae feeding on Mealy bugs

Life Cycle:

  • Adult female beetles lay their eggs among the cottony egg sack of adult female mealy bugs. One female can lays 5-10 eggs per day. Eggs hatch into larvae in about 5 days.
  • It takes another 12-17 days for these beetles to go through three larval stages and a pupal stage before they become adults. During this the larvae feed on mealy bug eggs.
  • Adults emerge after 7-10 days.
  • After five days, adult beetles begin to lie their eggs, up to 400 yellow eggs during their two month life span. Adults may live up to 2 months.

For Best Results

  • Release in early morning or late evening, and do not wear light coloured clothing when releasing because this predator is attracted to light colours.
  • Screen vents and windows to prevent escape of Cryptolaemus.
  • To keep mealy bug populations down to acceptable levels in greenhouses, several releases of Cryptolaemus may be necessary, particularly during winter months.