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Preventive Control

Natural enemies


Lyptomastix dactylopii is a tiny (about a size of a pin head), deep-yellow colored parasitic wasp species. It attacks the adults and the large nymphs of the citrus mealybug. The female lays eggs in the body of the mealybug. When the wasp larva emerges, it feeds on the inside of the host. It forms a small cocoon, called 'mummy', from the wax covered remains before pupating. Parasitized mealybugs look like a bunch of tiny cotton-covered grapes attached to the plants. The tiny wasp cuts a neat hole into the mummy and climbs out to feed and mate (Olkowski; Daar; Olkowski, 1991: p. 382). One wasp can parasitize 50-100 mealybugs (Thomas, 2003). This is available on a commercial basis in North America and Europe (Olkowski; Daar; Olkowski, 1991: p. 382).


  1. Lacewing
  2. Hoverfly
  3. Ladybird beetle
  4. Mealybug destroyer
  5. Minute pirate bug
  6. Spider

Management and cultural practices

  1. Practice proper sanitation. Clean tools after used. Avoid movements of working animals and yourself from infested to non-infested areas the same day. Mealybugs can be transported from one area to another through farm tools and equipments, trellis materials, plant parts, and working animals (University of California, 2002).
  2. Infested plants and plant parts should not be used as mulch. These should be removed from fields and destroyed (Tenbrink; Hara, 1993).
  3. Control and kill ants. Flood and plow the fields. This will destroy ant colonies and expose eggs and larvae to predators and sunlight. Ants use mealybugs to gain access to nutrients from the plants (Olkowski; Daar; Olkowski, 1991: p. 380).
  4. Avoid using heavy doses of highly soluble nitrogen fertilizers since mealybugs, like other sap-feeding insects, love tender-juicy leaves.
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