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How to get rid of mealybugs with biological pest control?

Overall being a PLNTSparents is super rewarding, we mean you take care of this little thing and it thrives. That feeling is just indescribable right? Sometimes we also have to overcome some challenges which are unavoidable. Just like dealing with pests. These creatures find their way into your urban jungle and see how lush your collection is growing. And that is exactly what they are looking for, lush and tasty plants to take advantage of. There are quite a few pests that you have to keep your eye out for as a PLNTSparents, but in this blog we will highlight how you can win a Mealybug infestation. Let’s get into it.

How do mealybugs damage my plants?

Mealybugs, and their eggs or nymphs, unfortunately spread very quickly and easily. This can be caused by air currents, such as draughts, but also by cross-contamination. You can even carry the mealybug on your clothes (yuck!).

The nymphs and females bite on nutritious spots and suck the plant juices. This stunts the growth of your plant(s) and causes leaf malformation and yellowing. The result is reduced photosynthesis, so that the plant can no longer grow nicely. Most mealybug species bite their way through the leaf into the veins of the plant. Here they feed on nutrients. They can also find a way to the roots and feed on them! This gnawing causes leaves to turn yellow or brown and eventually die. Moreover, harmful viruses can be transmitted. So mealybugs harm your plants in many different ways - intense, isn't it?

mealybug close up

Crypto (Cryptolaemus montrouzieri)

Crypto, the natural predators of mealybugs, to the rescue! These very young (larvae) and hungry ladybirds will protect your plant against mealy bugs (and very occasionally scale insects as well) for about a month. We also call these saviours wolves in sheep's clothing. After all, they look rather like mealybugs. They have a white fluffy back and are therefore easy to see with the naked eye. In optimal conditions, these rescuers can eat up to 250 mealybugs. Yes, they are truly hungry! These fluffy bugs only stay on your plants so don't be afraid to find them all over your house. By using these rescuers you are making use of the natural way of pest control, and that is a good thing!

Cryptolaemus montrouzieri

How to use?

We can imagine that you first want to know how exactly to apply/use the Crypto. We can reassure you and tell you that we supply a super handy box with these saviours. You can easily empty the contents of the sachet, about 30 young ladybirds, into the box and then hang the box in your plant that is suffering from mealy bugs. These saviours like to walk upwards, so hang the box low in the plant, but of course close to the pest. You need at least one sachet per 1 m2 of planted surface area.

mealybugs biological pest control


Can't wait to buy these saviours? Understandably so! However, we would like to point out that these crypto should be used immediately after receipt. If, for whatever reason, you would like to wait a little while before placing them. You can do this for 1 to 2 days in a dark, ventilated place at 12°C-15 °C. Not in the fridge! Also remember to grasp the bag with the Crypto carefully and do not squeeze the bag. This can damage these saviours and you don't want that to happen.

Last but not least!

A one-time application does not guarantee that mealybugs will disappear from the plants for good. In case of a large infestation we recommend introducing a bag of these saviours every other month. In addition, they are most effective when kept in a room between 20 and 28 °C and on a plant that is or will be slightly misted. However, make sure that the bag never hangs in bright sunlight.

And that is how you can get rid of your mealybug infestation. Hopefully this blog was helpful and now you can get going with fighting off your mealybug infestation. If you want to know more about the mealybug, or any other pest, you can visit our PLNTSdoctor page. Or you might want to take a look at our other blog, which has all the links to blogs on how to fight off other pests. Otherwise we wish you the best of luck and hope to see you in our next blog, bye!


Carlijn is probably one of the biggest plant geeks ever. She is always on the lookout for new gems and loves to share all her plant knowledge, tips and inspiration with our community!

March 18, 2024
Hi, I'm Emma, your guide!

Hi, I’m Emma, your guide!