The unique white 'hairs' on this tiny bug often draw attention from people. These larvae are extremely useful in pest management. Their name describes both what they eat and what they do to their prey's population.
This species was deliberately imported from Australia in 1892 to help control mealybug infestations on California citrus groves. Mealybugs are cottony looking insects that suck a plant's juices, weakening them, possibly to death. Their abundance was having an economic impact in the agricultural industry. The introduction of the Mealybug Destroyer was successful and, today, it is bred and sold everywhere in North America.
Adult mealybug destroyers look like black lady beetles with brown heads. If they are present in your garden, they are doing your plants a great service.
Common name: Mealy Bug Destroyer Larvae
Scientific Name: Cryptolaemus montrouzieri
Other Names: Mealybug Destroyer
Adult Size (Length): 2mm to 6mm (0.08in to 0.24in) COMPARE
Identifying Colors: white, black, brown
General Description: cotton, furry, worm, hairy, flying, helpful
North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico
* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.