Get Ready for Aphid Control
Plantscape Designs Inc services Interior Office Landscapes. PDI designs, installs and services weekly your interior office green live plants.
Lady beetle supplies were very low this winter, and now unavailable so please work on alternatives.
The first thing you need to consider when using beneficials for aphid control is what species of aphid you’re trying to control. Most growers, have a combination of aphid species in the greenhouse and choose to release several things to address this.
What are the key beneficial organisms being used?
- Parasitic wasps
- Aphidius colemani is used to control green peach and melon aphids.
- Aphidius ervi is used to control foxglove and potato aphids.
- Aphidoletes aphidomyza is a predatory midge that is shipped to you as a pupa. They emerge as adults, lay their eggs in the aphid colonies and the larval stage eats the aphids. They do best under longer days between March and September. They work well in combination with parasitic wasps.
- Lacewings love aphids. We can ship them as larva or eggs. If sprinkling the eggs over plants, wet the foliage to help the eggs to stick to the leaves.
Using a leaf blower for releasing beneficials
By Karen Hall
Many people have seen the leaf blower being used for releases of Neoseiulius cucumeris for thrips control but did you know that it can also be used for release of spider mite predators? Phytoseiulus persimilus, Neoseiulus californicusand others can be dispersed using the same blower. This might work on areas where mites (two-spotted, broad, and cyclamen) are regular issues like tropicals, mandevilla, spikes, cordyline, and new guinea impatiens.
Apply Fungus Gnat Controls at Planting (or soon after!)
New potting mixes are especially favorable for fungus gnat adults to lay their eggs. It is critical to get your fungus gnat bio-controls on early – within the first 2 weeks after planting The eggs hatch into the larval stage within 4-6 days and feed on new plant roots for up to 2 weeks.
What are your options?
- Beneficial nematodes are a great option especially for anyone that is new to bio-controls. They are compatible with most pesticides and not too expensive. There are several species of nematodes. If your primary target pest is fungus gnats, use Steinernema feltiae. If your target pest is shore flies, use Steinernema carpocapsae. Or use a combination of these two species of nematodes. For a video on applying nematodes in the greenhouse, go to University of Massachusetts extension and watch the video – “Using beneficial nematodes to control pests in greenhouses”.
- Predatory mites – Stratiolaelaps scimitus can be applied at planting. This mite will get established and stay in the soil for the season if pesticides are not used in the soil. Products like Marathon will kill this mite.
- Dalotia is a soil dwelling beetle. Adults and larva eat fungus gnat and shore fly larva, and thrips pupa in the soil. Its best to release these early, before populations get too high. They can be dispersed from central locations or by using breeder buckets which will support their reproduction during the season.