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Black Mealybug Predator

Exochomus nigromaculatus

Black Mealybug Predator

A close up photograph of a mealybug predator on a plant Exochomus nigromaculatus

Exochomus nigromaculatus (7736032304)

by Gilles San Martin. CC BY-SA 2.0

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A Black Mealy Bug Predator is a shiny, black beetle that belongs in the family of ladybeetles. It's a small beetle, measuring only 4mm when fully grown. Despite their names, these insects will feast on aphids, soft scale and cochineal insects as well as mealybugs.
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Traits

A top predatory insect for your garden that can help keep pest populations low.

Appearance

Adult: A Black Mealy Bug Predator looks like a shiny black beetle. They are probably one of the easiest to identify for this reason. There's a pale yellow patch on each side of the pronotum (segment following the head). Larvae: are highly segmented, with numerous spikes (tubercles). They tend to be mostly black, with pale pink-yellow-cream markings covering the length of the body. Like the ladybeetle, they have six legs too. Eggs: The eggs are so small; gardeners often miss them. They tend to be bright yellow, oval, and attached firmly to the bottom of the leaves.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Coleoptera

Family

Coccinellidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Widespread across South Africa and dotted about Southern Europe.

Biological treatment

These insects are a cheap and natural form of biocontrol for aphids, whiteflies, scale insects and more. The best way to attract these into your green spaces is to steer clear of pesticides for as long as possible during the warm season. This is because ladybirds are highly attracted to the smell of their food (the pests!). It's only worth them travelling to your garden if there's going to be enough food there. So, if the infestation is too light, they won't bother. By holding off from using pesticides, pest populations may grow to become unsightly. But, with sufficient food supplies, you'll enable the ladybeetles to breed and multiply. Some patience is required. You can also incorporate insect hotels, indigenous flower patches and climbing plants. Pest populations can help to entice them in, nut you can keep them coming back if you provide refuges.

Chemical treatment

We do not recommend treating your garden plants for ladybeetles because they provide so many benefits.

Attracts

Aphids

Aphididae

A close up of a mealybug from the family Pseudococcidae

Mealybug

Pseudococcidae

A close up of some soft scale insects Coccidae attached to the back of a leaf

Soft Scale

Coccidae

A close up of a branch with a armoured scale infestation

Armoured Scale

Diaspididae

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Plant Knowledge

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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