How to recognize Icerya
Icerya is a pest of citrus and many ornamentals like Pittosporum, Alibizia and Mimosa. Icerya has similarities with mealybugs, but belong to a different genus. The adult females attach to branches of woody plants and produce a large white egg-mass with longitudinal ridges, which contains hundreds off eggs. The nymphs that emerge from the eggs will spread throughout the plant in search of young plant parts. They will feed on plant saps, causing major damage. During development Icerya molts several times. Nymphs will search new spots for each molting. Older stages prefer more wooden parts of the plant for molting. Each stage will produce waxy threads and excrete large amounts of honeydew.
How to control Icerya
Only one solution is available to control Icerya: the deployment of the predatory beetle RODOLIA CARDINALIS. The Rodolia beetle originates from Australia. Californian citrus orchards had major problems during the late 19th century. Icerya purchasi is a well-known pest of citrus trees on which chemical pesticides have very little effect. To save citrus trees, Rodolia was introduced from Australia. The introduction and control were very successful and saved the citrus industry. The introduction of Rodolia is seen as the start of biological control worldwide.
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