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Do Ladybugs Eat Mealybugs?

With mealybugs being a real problem for gardeners and people who like to grow their own fruit and vegetables, it is only natural that people will start to look for various ways that they are able to naturally control the local mealybug population. As more and more people turn to growing their own organic, pesticide-free fruit and vegetables, the traditional chemical-based counters to mealybugs are out of the question.

This is why we have seen a spike in the number of people reaching out to ask if ladybugs eat mealybugs or not recently. Due to there being so many people reaching out and looking for a natural way to control their local mealybug population each month as well as the answer to if ladybugs will help control the build-up of mealybugs in your garden by eating them not being straightforward, we have decided to publish our own dedicated article.

Our hope is that we will be able to help our readers better understand how they are able to use ladybugs to deal with the mealybugs in their garden but explain it best, we have to cover it in a number of sections. This is why we have added our table of contents below to let you skip to specific sections of the article if you only need answers from specific sections.

Do Ladybugs Eat Mealybugs?

Not all species of ladybug will eat mealybugs but out of the 5000 or so different species of ladybug, there are a number of good options that will eat large amounts of mealybugs from your garden. The best species of ladybug that will happily hunt down and eat large numbers of mealybug is the convergent lady beetle (hippodamia convergens) with it being a very popular choice with gardeners for a range of pests.

The convergent lady beetle, commonly known as the ladybug is considered a gardeners best friend against pests like mealybugs due to them being able to eat a huge range of common pests without eating your plants. Unlike spiders that will usually make a web in one place and stay there, the convergent lady beetle will actively hunt common pests such as mealybugs in different areas and rapidly reduce their population.

Due to the convergent lady beetle becoming such a popular option for gardeners, you are able to purchase packs of convergent lady beetle online for cheap. Depending on the pack size you purchase, you will usually get anywhere from 1000 to 5000 convergent lady beetles that you then release into your garden and let them do their thing by eating the local mealybug population.

Are Ladybugs Able To Eat Enough Mealybugs To Save My Plants?

A single ladybug is usually unable to eat enough mealybugs to save your plants but a large number of ladybugs are able to pretty much remove the mealybug population from your garden within days. This is why the packs of ladybugs that eat mealybugs usually contain a minimum of 1000 ladybugs as many will fly off but a number will stick around and focus on eating the mealybugs in the immediate area.

We would usually only recommend you purchase packs of convergent lady beetle too if you are specifically having a problem with mealybugs as they are the best ladybug species for eating mealybugs by far. There are a number of different packs of different species of ladybug that are designed at controlling the population of a specific pest though if you are having issues with other bugs too.

The best thing about using packs of ladybugs to deal with your mealybug problem is that it is totally natural so there is no need for pesticides at all. Instead of hanging around in your garden, once the ladybugs have ate most of the pests, they will simply fly off to find other pets in the area leaving your garden mealybug free.

What Are Some Other Predators Of Mealybugs?

Although the convergent lady beetle is our recommended ladybug of choice for dealing with mealybugs in your garden due to its efficiency and low price, hoverfly larvae and lacewings are also very popular options. There is also the more expensive “mealybug ladybird” that can eat a huge number of mealybugs in your garden but it is usually not the best option in our opinion.

Although the mealybug ladybird will technically eat more ladybirds than the convergent lady beetle, the higher price of mealybug ladybirds means that you will only get around 25 of them for a similar price of getting over 1000 convergent lady beetles. This means that most of your mealybug ladybirds will usually fly off after eating the initial cluster of mealybugs that you release them near.

Even a small pack of convergent lady beetles should be able to eat more mealybugs from your garden simply due to more of them sticking around for longer. This will offer a higher benefit to your plants, fruits, and vegetables as it will also reduce the number of other pests in the garden due to convergent lady beetle eating many other pests in large numbers too.

Conclusion

That brings our article going over if ladybugs eat mealybugs to an end. Although there are a number of ladybug species that will happily eat mealybugs, the convergent lady beetle is definitely our primary recommendation to our readers due to how many mealybugs they will eat as well as the low price point of convergent lady beetles. If you do choose to purchase packs of other species of ladybug then be sure to check that they will eat mealybugs as a surprisingly large number of ladybug species will not pay mealybugs much attention.