Mealybugs are related to aphids and feed by sucking plant sap, causing direct feeding damage by production of honeydew and associated sooty moulds. Several species are found, all have the appearance of being covered in a white waxy layer. They are serious pests in botanic gardens, interior landscapes and in commercial ornamental and edible crops. 

Lacewing larvae also feed on mealybug nymphs. Hypoaspis may feed on root mealybug. A pheromone is available to attract the winged adult male Citrus Mealybug.

Type: Small (4-5 mm) Australian ladybird. The larvae looks like a large segmented mealybug and may be seen walking over plants. 

How it works: Adults lay eggs into mealybug egg masses, larvae develop and are predatory on all stages of the mealybug. 

Species controlled: The larvae feed on all species but adults need egg producing species for egg laying. 

When to use: Apply at first signs of infestation. Consult Fargro. 

Rates of use: 2-3 ladybirds per 1 m2 on infested plants, repeat at 2 week intervals until predators are established. 

Type: Small parasitic wasps. 

How it works: Adults lay their eggs inside the mealybug nymphs which continue to develop for a few days before becoming brown and mummified. The parasite emerges through a circular hole in the top. 

Species controlled: Leptomastix dactylopi controls Planococcus citri (Citrus Mealybug). 
Anagyrus pseudococci controls Citrus Mealybug and also will develop in the Glasshouse Mealybug. Anagyrus prefers larger mealybug. There are no parasites available in the UK for some species such as the long-tailed mealybug Pseudococcus longispinus

When to use: Requires temperatures of 18-30°C for development. 

Rates of use: 2 wasps per 1 m2 infested area.




Leptomastix adult on mealybug colony
(Photo: Holt Studios)
Cryptolaemus lava
(Photo: Holt Studios)
Cryptolaemus adult 
(Photo: Holt Studios)