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Cryptolaemus montrouzieri

Cryptolaemus was one of the first discoveries in the science of biological control. This little beetle known as "the Australian Ladybird" was first exported from Australia to California in 1891 to control citrus mealybug.

Both the adults and the juvenile larvae eat all stages of Mealybug, they can also eat aphid and scale if there are not enough mealybug around. In the UK they are used only in the warmth of conservatories or glasshouses, it is not normally warm enough outside and the adult ladybirds tend to fly away. The Ladybirds need warmth and light to work efficiently, so are best introduced from April onwards, unless you live in the south and west where the spring is earlier. Cryptolaemus settle best when there are quite a large number of Mealybugs to attract them.

Unfortunately Cryptolaemus can be killed or damaged by insecticides, so its best to stop using these well before they are introduced. SB invigorator or another soft soap can be used to wash off the plants if you are waiting for warm weather.

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Introducing Cryptolaemus

Cryptolaemus are sent to you as larvae, or a mix of larvae and adults. They are voracious feeders, but if they can't find enough food they will eat each other! Cryptolaemus adults look like brown ladybirds. Their larvae are white and waxy, they look very like mealybugs themselves. In the trio below you can see mealybug on the left, adults being released in the middle, and Cryptolaemus larvae on the right. They are about 1cm long, with a white waxy coat, and they are slightly larger and more active than their prey.

Ordering your Cryptolaemus

The Cryptolaemus are posted to you directly from the breeders, in Kent, to minimise the time and losses that occur in transit. Standard pack of 10 gives good coverage for an average conservatory where the problem is not severe. The large pack is needed where the infestation is advanced or the area larger. When you get your tube release the contents gently onto the mealybug wool - they can smell their prey and won't get lost!
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Standard Pack 10 insects
18.95 inc P&P

Large pack 25 insects
26.95 inc P&P