Responding to industry needs to bolster aphid control, Biobest has launched Micromus-System – a unique product where both the adults and larvae are voracious predators of this pest. A robust team player, the brown lacewing Micromus angulatus is a generalist predator feeding on all common aphid species found in protected crops.
A common sap sucking pest, aphids reduce plant vigour, can cause visually distortion and damage to leaves and growth points and vector damaging plant viruses. The sugary honeydew it excretes can render plants/fruits unsaleable due to stickiness and sooty mould growth.
While the choice of available chemical pesticides to control aphid continues to decrease, in 2021 the European Commission announced a concrete target to halve all pesticide usage by 2030.
“With fewer and fewer chemical available solutions, Micromus-System is a timely and important addition to optimise biological aphid control,” says Biobest’s Ines De Craecker.
Both larvae and adults of Micromus prey on all the major aphid species commonly found vegetable, soft fruit, medicinal cannabis and ornamental crops. To maximise control of this pest, IPM programmes need a combination of generalist predators, such as Micromus, and species-specific parasitoids.
“A team-player, Micromus-System is compatible with, and complementary to, other aphid control agents,” explains Ines. “Able to withstand lower temperatures than other aphid predators and parasitoids, this robust lacewing lives considerably longer and, if the pest pressure is low, can survive on little prey. With a high reproductive rate, each female adult can produce up to 1000 eggs over her lifespan - promoting rapid establishment and population growth in the crop.”
100% biodegradable carton
As part of Biobest’s continuous product improvement programme, the new Micromus-System is available in units of 250 adults supplied in a sustainable cardboard carton.
“The 100% biodegradable carton contains a specific formulation, providing the lacewing adults with all necessary components so they arrive at the grower in optimal conditions,” explains Ines. “The carton also features honeycomb paper to help ensure the adults arrive in the best possible condition ready to get to work. These Biobest innovations are designed to optimise predator establishment and therefore performance in the crop.”