The UF/IFAS Tip of the Week shares options for using beneficial bugs to combat lebbeck mealybug infestations.

Lebbeck mealybug is difficult-to-manage pest that is gaining ground in Florida citrus groves, according to a UF/IFAS Tip of the Week. The insect seeks out feeding in protected spaces, and it utilizes a thick wax to cover both adults and egg sacks, both of which make insecticide treatments less effective. The Tip of the Week article goes on to share beneficial bugs that will combat lebbeck mealybug, giving citrus growers control options. See the beneficial insects below.

Insects That Will Combat Lebbeck Mealybug

The article maintained the following insects prey on lebbeck mealybug:

Mealybug destroyer (Cryptolaemus montrouzieri). These insects feed on lebbeck mealybug while in the adult and larval stage. They are “commercially available and show promise for reducing lebbeck mealybug populations when released into groves.”

Predatory hoverfly larvae (Ocyptamus sp.). These insects feed on adult mealybugs by burrowing into mealybugs and eating them from the inside out.

Trash bugs (Ceraeochrysa sp.). A larvae of lacewings, this insect prets on all life stages of mealybugs.

Larvae of scavenger moths (Anatrachyntis badia). These larvae also burrow into mealybugs to consume them.

Parasitoid wasps (Anagyrus dactylopii and Aprostocetus sp.). Both species will lay eggs inside lebbeck mealybug larvae.

Others. Incidental predators include Asian ladybeetle (Harmonia axyridis), the metallic blue ladybeetle (Curinus coeruleus) and lacewing larvae (Chrysoperla carnea).

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.