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A small but very destructive pest? That must be aphids! These plant sap-sucking insects with a high reproductive capacity are harmful for many protected and outdoor crops all over the world. The 4 most common aphid species in greenhouse crops are the cotton aphid Aphis gossypii, the green peach aphid Myzus persicae, the potato aphid Macrosiphum euphorbiae and the foxglove aphid Aulacorthum solani. With biological control you are ready to counter these species!

What damage can aphids cause?

  • Adults and nymphs suck plant sap and extract nutrients from the plant, which reduces the plant growth and causes leaf deformation and wilting.
  • The leaves and fruits become sticky as the aphids secrete honeydew.
  • Sooty mould can grow on the honeydew, which fouls the plants and has a negative impact on photosynthesis.  
  • They transmit toxic substances with their saliva causing deformation to the growing tips of the plant.
  • Aphids spread several viruses such as CMV.
  • Some ant species have a mutualistic relationship with aphids as they consume their honeydew and protect the aphids against predators.

How to control aphids?

To monitor winged aphids, you can rely on Biobest’s Bug-Scan®.

For biological control of this species, you can introduce: 

What are the characteristics of aphids?

  • Aphids have soft bodies and their colour varies depending on the species.
  • They have noticeable tubercles and long antennae on their head.
  • Aphids have large and explicit mouthparts: the stylets.
  • They have cornicles, which is a pair of abdominal tubes.
  • Aphids have a cauda, which is a rectal protrusion.
  • On their long, thin legs, they have 2 little claws.
  • Most aphids are wingless but they reproduce winged ones when the host plant quality is low and many aphids are present. Winged aphids look for other plants to start a new colony.

What about the aphid’s life cycle?

  • In spring and summer, the population consists of viviparous females with an asexual reproduction cycle.
  • In autumn, the aphids switch from host plant and reproduce sexually.
  • The development of new offspring starts immediately after an aphid is born. A female reproduces up to 100 aphids.
  • Aphids hibernate as eggs.
  • Due to these characteristics, the population grows fast causing severe crop problems.

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