Tag Archives: aphids

Beneficial Insects: Mealy Bug Destroyers.

Order: Coleoptera. Family: Coccinellidae
Average Size: 1/8 inch..

Sometimes called crypts (short for their scientific name Cryptolaemus montrouzieri) look very similar to ladybugs, but with an orange-red head area and tips of wings.

Although they will also eat the occasional aphid and scale insects, their favorite food is mealybugs. You will find crypts in areas that do not have severe winters and can also be purchased through some gardening catalogs to place in greenhouses.

Ants tend to destroy crypts because they in turn destroy mealybugs and ants protect mealybugs for the sweet, cottony substance they excrete. The crypt larvae look like giant mealybugs so be very careful which one you are destroying when you spray plants or squash the bugs.

Photos from top: 1.) Adult mealybug destroyer or crypt. 2.) The white, stringy-looking object is the larvae of the crypt or mealybug destroyer eating an aphid.

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Companion Planting with Allium.

Companion Planting: Plants that assist each other to grow well, repel insects or even other plants when grown next to each other can be a sustainable and eco-friendly way to improve and protect your garden against unwanted pests.

Allium Allium:

Allium is the Latin word for garlic and pertains to chives, garlic, leek, onion and shallots. There are also flowering allium that are excellent to plant among roses because they repel aphids and moles. Some of the larger varieties of flowering allium, such as Jewel of Tibet, grow to a height of five feet, and have a flower head up to eight inches in diameter that come in several colors.

Alliums are winter hardy, but should be mulched in colder climates. They like plenty of compost, but don’t like to by soggy. Plant onions, garlic and chives around the base of fruit trees to stop mice and moles from girdling them during the winter months when food is scarce or buried under a lot of snow. Girdling will kill trees, and rodents love to chew the bark of fruit trees like apples, cherries, peaches and plum when they are handy.

Garlic bulbs planted around plants that are prone to grub worms and cutworms will repel the worms, such as sunflowers and corn. Any member of the allium family will repel aphids.