Scale Insect Predatory Beetles - Chilocorus nigritus


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What are Scale Insects and how do I identify them?

Scale insects are small insects that feed on leaves and plants. They are often a pest spotted on house plants, tropical plants, and plants grown in warm, humid conditions. Scale insects can be spilt into two groups: the Armoured Scale and Soft Scale. The Armoured Scales inject substances into leaves that turns them yellow, or brown and are a serious plant pest for many types of plants, especially those grown in plant collections in greenhouses and conservatories. The Armoured Scale appear frequently on Palm Trees and Orchids. Soft Scales extract sap from plants and leave honeydew on leaves, which black moulds can grow on. 

What are Chilocorus nigritus beetles and how can they help?

Biological control of Hard Scale insect or Armoured Scale insects can be achieved with the predatory beetle; Chilocorus nigritus.The adult Chilocoruswill chew a hole in the scale insect, killing it, before feeding on the body. The predators will feed on Armoured Scale insects that include the:

  • Oleander Scale (Aspidiotus nerii)
  • Dictyopsermum Scale (Chrysomphalus dictyospermi)
  • California Red Scale (Aonidiella aurantii)
  • Cactus Scale (Diaspis echinocacti)
  • Lesser Snow Scale (Pinnaspis strachani)
  • White Peach Scale (Pseudaulacaspis pentagona)
  • Cyanophyllum Scale (Abgrallaspis cyanophylli)

When should I use the Chilocorus beetles?

Use these predators as soon as Armoured Scale Insect infestations are observed. We recommend use of the Chilocorus from March to September.

Where should I use the Chilocorus?

Chilocorus should be used indoors only. They are best suited for use in greenhouses, conservatories or in other heated areas.

How do I apply the Chilocorus?

It is recommended that you release the Chilocorus in the evening, with windows and vents closed so they cannot fly away. Leave these closed for a period of at least 8 hours.

Simply open the container and lodge it in foliage for the beetles to emerge naturally. If, after a few hours, some adults are left inside, gently tip them out onto the infested plants. For best results apply the beetles directly to areas where Scale Insects are present.

Full instructions will be provided on delivery.

What conditions do they require?

Chilocorus require temperatures averaging 22℃. The beetles also prefer release in areas of higher humidity. If you require Scale Insect predators that can withstand lower temperatures and a lower humidity see our Rhyzobius lophanthae predatory beetles.

How many Chilocorus nigritus beetles do I need?

We advise applying Chilocorus at the following rate:

In treating light infestations on small / medium sized plants: apply 3 - 5 predators per plant

In treating heavier infestations on larger sized plants: apply 10 predators per plant

Repeat applications may be required for the heavy infestations. Add more Chilocorus every 2 weeks until clear populations of Chilocorus can be observed, and have established on the plant. 2-3 weeks after application, given adequate levels of prey, Chilocorus larvae should be observed on the plants too.

Chemical Pesticides

Chilocorus nigritusis a living creature and can be affected by any chemical pesticides used within the previous few weeks. As a general guide, refrain from using Pyrethrum or SB Plant Invigorator 2 days prior to use. Other chemicals insecticides can have long lasting residues that could harm Chilocorus and other predators for much longer periods. Refrain from using these products or check with Dragonfli for information on the effect of these products on our predators.

*Please order by 2pm on Friday for despatch the following Tuesday