An interesting solution to Mealybugs, it's nemesis!

Whether you have battled with mealybugs for years or have an enviable collection of plants that they love, you are probably on constant alert.

They are only really a problem indoors, preferring warm conditions.  

Mealybugs have no wings and travel only short distances but can spread quickly and cause some serious damage.  They will arrive on a new plant, it's is so important to check new plants, and quarantine them before adding them to your collection.  3-4 weeks is advised, this is because they are good at hiding and may be out of sight when the plant first arrives.

If you have mealybugs on any plant it is really easy to spread it through touching or cleaning the plant.  When handling plants with mealybug treat it as if it is infectious, washing or throwing away cloths that have come into contact with the pest.

The damage

They are sap suckers secreting sticky honeydew on to plans which can then attract black sooty mould.  They also produce white waxy plooms which protects them and their young.

All in all they make plants look a mess and large population can really damage a plant, eventually leading to leaf loss.

The solution

The brown australian ladybird, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, is native to the UK and loves to feed on mealybug!  The larvae are particularly good at cleaning up an infestation.  They look exactly like mealybugs but are bigger and more active.  They feed on all stages of the pest too, a total clean up!

Want to know more about them?  Click here