Thursday, May 31, 2018
Mealybug destroyer at large
Today I spotted a weird looking little creature powering around the rim of a flowerpot containing a plant bought yesterday from the Staplecross Shrub Centre. After Googling about I tracked its identity down to the larva of a mealybug destroyer, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, a small Australian ladybird which, as its name suggests, is predatory on mealybugs.
This species now seems to be quite widely used to control mealybugs in the horticultural industry and this was no doubt how it arrived in Staplecross, perhaps brought with the many plants imported from Holland. It is not winter hardy in this country.