Cryptolaemus montrouzieri also known as the mealybug destroyer, is a generalist predator of mealybug.


CRYPTO-TEC is a generalist predator of mealybug and other soft scale insects. Adult beetles locate their prey by using visual and chemical signals, the white wax and honeydew secretions produced by mealybugs act as attractants and stimulate the beetles to lay eggs. All mobile life stages are voracious feeders and prey on all mealybug life stages. Each larva can consume up to 800 eggs or 250 nymphs or 30 adults in the duration of its development.


Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, a predatory beetle from the Coccinellidae family is probably one of the most widely used natural enemies worldwide. Adult beetles are about 4mm in length with distinct coloration. The beetle is dark brown to black in color with an orange-colored head, abdomen, and wing tips. The larval stage looks very similar to its mealybug prey and is also covered in white waxy filaments.  


CRYPTO-TEC can be used in a variety of crops such as citrus, vines, blueberries, pome fruit, cucumbers, peppers and ornamentals.

Life cycle and Biology

Adult female beetles lay a single egg into the mealybug egg masses, each female is capable of laying up to 500 eggs in her lifetime. After hatching the larvae grows through four larval stages and then pupates on the underside of leaves or on branches. The larval period lasts about 1 day. Under controlled conditions the development time from egg to adult is 27-30 days and the adult beetles can live for between 50 and 100 days.

The duration of all life stages is dependent on the ambient temperature. The optimal temperature for development and reproduction is 25-30°C.

CRYPTO-TEC as a product

  • CRYPTO-TEC contains adult Cryptolaemus montrouzieri beetles and honey strips for nutrition.
  • Available format – 50 adult beetles per package.
  • CRYPTO-TEC is packed in Insectec’s biodegradable packaging made from cardboard and biodegradable white lids, reducing waste in the agricultural system.


  • CRYPTO-TEC will reach you in a sealed Styrofoam box with the appropriate cooling inside. The box should be kept sealed until you are ready to apply the product.
  • If CRYPTO-TEC is not applied immediately the box should be kept in a cool room. Do not keep CRYPTO-TEC for longer than 24 hours before application.
  • Keep out of direct sunlight.
  • Do not store close to chemical pesticides.


CRYPTO-TEC has a simple and fast in-field application method:

Step 1: Find the right spot – inside the tree or crop in as little sun as possible.

Step 2: Use the elastic band to attach the container to a sturdy perch.

Step 3: Remove the sticker from the emergence hole to allow the beetles to fly out. Alternatively, the beetles can be gently shaken from the packaging onto the pants in the vicinity of the prey.

Step 4: CRYPTO-TEC should be released early in the morning or late in the afternoon in mild temperatures.

Release rates and frequency


Release rate


Light curative



Medium curative



Heavy curative



**This is a guideline only. Release rates and frequencies might differ depending on mealybug species, type of crop, geographical area, and time of year.

Benefits of using CRYPTO-TEC

  • CRYPTO-TEC is safe for non-target organisms.
  • It is safe for humans and the environment, making it a sustainable crop protection method.
  • CRYPTO-TEC complements ANA-TEC and COCCI-TEC.
  • Can be used in open field systems and in greenhouses or netted structures
  • CRYPTO-TEC is capable of controlling high mealybug infestations effectively.


  • CRYPTO-TEC can be used in with many chemical pesticides, but it is always best to consult with your Insectec field advisor before using these products with CRYPTO-TEC.
  • Control ants before introducing CRYPTO-TEC to the crop.

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