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Conservation of Biological Control Posterchild, Cottony Cushion Scale

The Issue

The vedalia beetle is a predator of a major citrus pest, cottony cushion scale. However, many of the new insectides developed to replace organophosphates (neonicotinoids and pyrethroids) or developed as reduced-risk alternatives (insect growth regulators) are quite toxic to this beneficial insect. Biological control is important in the control of cottony cushion scale as insecticides are not very effective against the pest.

What Has ANR Done?

Extension Integrated Pest Management Specialist Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell of the University of California, Riverside has taught growers to limit the harm to the vedalia beetle through careful timing of insecticide use or the avoidance of insectides altogether.

The Payoff

Disruption of Vedalia Beetle Has Lessened

Since 1999, when problems first arose, there has been a noticeable lessening in the disruption of vedalia beetle.


Supporting Unit: UCR Entomology Department

Dr. Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell
Kearney Agricultural Center
9240 S. Riverbend
Parlier, CA 93648
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521
(559) 646-6591
(559) 646-6593 (Fax)