Vedalia Beetles Should Be Appearing
Its March and it is the time of year when the cottony cushion scales are maturing into large females on the trunks of the tree. They especially like plantings of grapefruit and mandarins with dense canopies. It is also the time of year when the vedalia beetles arrive and begin laying their bright red eggs on the cottony cushion scale females. The eggs will hatch and the vedalia larvae will consume the eggs inside the cottony cushion scale egg sac. The adult beetles are voracious predators and will eat all stages of the scales. If you have a population of vedalia and are willing to share it, please let us know (Beth Grafton-Cardwell, 559-592-2408, Lindcove Research and Extension Center). It only takes a few beetles to get a population started in a new location and they control the cottony cushion scales better than pesticides.
vedalia beetle adult feeding on cottony cushion scale
vedalia beetle eggs on the egg sac of the scale
vedalia larva feeding on a cottony cushion scale egg