While remaining the backbone of aphid control programmes, parasitic wasps such as Aphidius-System tend to be highly specific – unable to parasitise all aphid species. In contrast our two hoverflies, Eupeodes-System and Sphaerophoria-System, feed on the full range of all commonly found aphids.
These two hoverflies are voracious generalist aphid predators. Strong fliers, the adult females spread quickly through the crop, searching out aphid colonies to lay their eggs; often seeking out pest outbreaks before being scouted in the crop.
Eupeodescorollae and Sphaerophoriarueppellii adults are long-lived with each female capable of laying hundreds of eggs. Over its lifetime, a single Eupeodes larva can consume 500-1000 aphids, while a Sphaerophoria larva can devour up to 200 aphids in just nine days.
In a category of their own, Eupeodes-System and Sphaerophoria-System uniquely provide dual ecosystem services, as these pollen and nectar-feeding adult hoverflies can also contribute to crop pollination.
When to use?
Cold tolerant Eupeodes-System
Most hoverfly species have an optimum temperature range within 20-35°C. However, Eupeodes prefers slightly cooler conditions remaining active down to 10°C, while its optimum range is 15-25°C. This makes Eupeodes-System ideal to kick start aphid control programmes in spring crops as well as for end of season control in autumn.
Sphaerophoria-System for higher temperatures
As the season progresses, glasshouse temperatures can soar. Sufficient daylight is important for Sphaerophoria-System and at higher temperatures it performs better than Eupeodes-System. With a higher optimum range of 25-35°C, Sphaerophoria-System tolerates temperatures up to 40°C making it ideal for control programmes mid-summer.
Compatible and complementary
Eupeodes-System and Sphaerophoria-System are becoming valuable tools helping to provide a sustainable solution to aphid control in a range of crops worldwide.
Complementing each other temperature wise, Eupeodes-System is suited to lower temperatures while Sphaerophoria-System thrives in higher temperatures. Meanwhile, a mix of the two hoverfly products is ideal for when temperatures are variable, i.e. cool in the morning and warm by midday.
In addition, these two hoverflies are also highly compatible and complementary to existing commercial biological solutions for aphid control.