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Aphid. Aulacorthum solani. (Photo: Syngenta Bioline)

Aphid Biological Control:

Most crops can be infested with aphids. Damage is caused in three ways: sucking plant sap when feeding, excretion of honeydew leading to sooty mould and some species can transmit plant viruses leading to distortion and disfigured plant growth.

Biological control with parasites, predators and fungal pathogens are available depending on crop and environmental conditions. There are a large number of aphid species and identification can be important when parasitic wasps are to be used. Depending on the species there can be alternate plant hosts. Winged forms develop under conditions of high density to migrate to alternate hosts. Resistance to some insecticides is a serious issue with some species.

Parasitic Wasps - (Aphiline c (Aphidius colemani), Aphiline e (Aphidius ervi), ACE Mix, CE Mix, Berry Mix, Strawberry Mix, Flower Mix nd Matriline (Aphodius matricariae)

Aphidius egg laying into aphid. (Photo: Holt Studios)
Aphelinus egg laying into aphid. (Photo: Holt Studios)
Mummified aphid - parasitised by Aphidius spp. (Photo: Holt Studios)
Fargro CodePack Size
FGAPM Aphidius colemani, vial of 250
FGAPL Aphidius colemani, vial of 1000
FGAPN Aphidius colemani, bottle of 5000
FGAPS Aphidius matricariae, vial of 500
FGAPA Aphelinus abdominalis, vial of 250
FGAPO Aphidius ervi, 250
FGAPC ACE Mix, vial of 500
FGAPD CE Mix, vial of 500
FGAPV Berry Mix (MACE PV), vial of 240
FGAPW Strawberry Mix (PACE), vial of 240
FGAPX Flower Mix, vial of 240

Several species of aphid parasitic wasp are available:

Aphidius colemani is particularly effective against round bodied aphid species such as Myzus persicae (peach-potato aphid) and Aphis gossypii (melon cotton aphid). It is not effective against Macrosiphum species. It can control large populations of aphids, but will take time to achieve this and may leave many parasitised 'mummy' bodies on plants.

Aphidius ervi is specifically for the larger elliptical shaped species including Macrosiphum euphorbiae (potato aphid) and Aulacorthum solani (glasshouse potato aphid). Several other aphid species such as the pea aphid are also parasitised.

Aphidius matricariae Has a slightly different host range to A. colemani and includes Ovatus crataegarius (mint aphid).

Aphelinus abdominalis controls a wide range of aphid species including Macrosiphum euphorbiae (potato aphid) and Aulacorthum solani (glasshouse potato aphid). It has a very long life span.

Praon volucre (mixtures only) controls a wide range of aphid species including a number not controlled by other available aphid parasites. It has a long life cycle.

Ephedrus cerasicola (mixtures only). Has a long life cycle and high rate of egg laying capacity. Effective on a wide range of aphid species.


Formulations:

Aphelline ab:Aphelinus abdominalis (single species)
Aphiline c:Aphidius colemani (single species).
Aphiline e:Aphidius ervi (single species).
Aphiline ACE Mix:Contains Aphelinus abdominalis, Aphidius colemani and Aphidius ervi.
Aphiline CE Mix:Contains 50:50 mix of Aphidius colemani and Aphidius ervi.
Matriline:Aphidius matricariae (single species).
Aphiline Berry Mix (MACE PV):(Praon mix) contains a mix of Praon volucre (100), Aphidius colemani (40), A. ervi (40), A. matricariae (40) and Aphelinus abdominalis (20) (count per 240 vial).
Aphiline Strawberry Mix (PACE):Contains equal portions of Aphidius colemani, A. ervi, A. matricariae, Aphelinus abdominalis, Praon volucre and Ephedrus cerasicola.
Aphiline Flower Mix:Contains Aphidius colemani(30), A. ervi (30), A. matricariae (30), Aphelinus abdominalis (40), Praon volucre (40) and Ephedrus cerasicola (70) (count per 240 vial).
The mixtures reduce the need for accurate pest species identification and are suitable for preventative use against a range of aphid species, particularly in mixed cropping situations.

How it works:

The adult wasp inserts its egg into the aphid, a parasite larva develops killing the aphid, producing a characteristic goldenbrown papery 'mummy' with Aphidius and Praon species, and black 'mummy' with Aphelinus species. Aphids parasitised with Ephedrus hide to die. An adult parasitic wasp later emerges through a round hole on the mummified aphid. The adult wasps also feed as a predator on aphids, killing one or more each day.

Video:

Biological controls in Action: Parasitic Wasps(Aphidius ervi) controlling aphid in production horticulture.
(Broadcast: One Show, BBC 26/03/14.) Clip used with permission.
Watch this Video


When to use:

All should be used at the first sign of aphids or better, as an early season preventative.

Rate of use:

Aphidius colemani: 1 wasp / mummy / 2 m2 per week. Increase to 5 / m2 for 3 weeks if small aphid colonies are present.
Aphidius ervi: 1 wasp / mummy / 2 m2 per week. Increase as above if necessary.
ACE Mix or CE Mix: 1 wasp / 1 m2.
Berry, Strawberry or Flower Mix: One pack of 240 treats 200 m2


Fargro can advise on the best species or mixture to use.
15/08/13

Aphidoline a (Aphidoletes aphidimyza)

Aphidoletes larvae feeding in aphid colony. (Photo: Holt Studios)

Type:

A small, orange predatory larva, the adult is a nocturnal midge fly.

How it works:

Introduced as cocoons from which adults emerge. The blister packs enable monitoring and mating of adults on release. Adults lay eggs next to aphid colonies located by the scent of honeydew, larvae develop as tiny orange maggots that feed on aphids. One larva can survive on 5 large aphids but will kill up to 35 or more.

Species controlled:

Larvae feed on over 60 aphid species, including those common in field and protected crops within the UK.

When to use:

Between April and September for re-cycling generations, however they can be used all year round if
supplementary lighting is available.

Rates of use:

Normally 1 cocoon per 1 m2 per week, for local hotspots increase the rate up to 10 per 1 m2. Aphidoline a pack
Fargro CodePack Size
FGAPJBottle of 1000
FGAPRBlister pack
4 x 250
24/07/13

Chrysoline c (Chrysoperla carnea)

Chrysoperla larvae feeding on aphid. (Photo: Holt Studios)

Type:

Young larvae of predatory lacewing.

How it works:

An extremely active predator with large pincers used to attack, hold and suck the juices from the pest body.

Species controlled:

Effective at controlling established aphid populations. Also feed on whitefly eggs and scales, thrips larvae, moth eggs, young mealybug nymphs and other small insects.

When to use:

Use on established populations of aphids or other pest colonies, ideal for organic crops.

Rates of use:

10 larvae per 1 m2 repeat after 2-3 weeks. Chrysoline c pack
Fargro CodePack Size
FGWIMTube, buckwheat carrier 500 larvae
FGWINTube, buckwheat carrier 1000 larvae
FGWIRBulk bag, buckwheat carrier 2500 larvae
25/07/13

Adaline b (Adalia bipunctata)

Left: Adalia adult. Right: Adalia larva. (Photo: Syngenta Bioline)

Type:

A species of ladybird native to the UK. The adult beetle and larvae are both predatory.

How it works:

Adults and larvae feed on most types of aphid.

Species controlled:

Most types of aphid.

When to use:

Apply as a curative.

Rates of use:

Consult Fargro. Adalia Pack
Fargro CodePack Size
FGADC250 larvae
FGADB25 adults
25/07/13

See Also:

SB Plant Invigorator
Chess
View our full range of biological controls