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Aphid control – start early

03/11/2020 - Aphids are widespread sap-sucking pests with a high reproductive capacity. They are found attacking outdoor and protected crops worldwide.

“The first signs of aphid damage are usually leaf discoloration and sticky spots, caused by the honeydew they secrete,” explains Kenan Kütük, Biobest IPM and Pollination Specialist for the Middle East and Central Asia. “Bad infestations result in curled, wilting foliage and weakened plants. This pest can often spread viral and bacterial diseases which can wipe out an entire crop – making it important to remain vigilant and spot it early.”

The four most common aphid species found 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.

Control needs to start early

Biobest’s Aphidius-System, containing the parasite Aphidius colemani, is known to parasitise more than 40 aphid species.
“With their fast reproduction rate, aphid control needs to start early,” says Kenan. “Our Aphidius-System is particularly well suited to provide preventative control.

“In protected crops - such as sweet pepper, cucumber, eggplant, rose and chrysanthemum – we recommend preventative weekly introductions at a minimum rate of 0.15 Aphidius individuals / m². As soon as aphids are detected on our Bug-Scan® yellow sticky traps, we recommend increasing the rate to 0.5 - 1 Aphidius individuals / m² per week - depending on the crop and the situation - for at least three weeks.

“From summer onwards, aphid control using Aphidius-System can be hampered by the presence of hyperparasites.”

Curative control

He goes on to say: “For curative treatments later in the season, we recommend the simultaneous introduction of various predators. Luckily, Biobest has the wider portfolio in our sector. We are able to offer the gall midge Aphidoletes-System; two hoverfly products Sphaerophoria-System and the award-winning Eupeodes-System; the lacewing Chrysopa-System and - for very serious infestations and for public green - the ladybird Adalia-System.”

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