Aphidoletes aphidimyza – the aphid midge, is a predator that is effective for controlling substantial populations of more than 60 species of aphids. These mosquito-like midges are very nomadic — traveling to where the action is — decimating populations of even some obscure aphid species. Females will lay up to 250 eggs amongst the aphid populations which hatch into orange larvae which grow to 3 mm. These larvae kill aphids by injecting a toxin through their legs. A. aphidimyza larvae tend to kill much more than they’ll eat. This makes them capable of handling heavy pest pressure; however they are not recommended for lettuce production or hydroponic growing.
Optimum performance: 64-77° F, 70% relative humidity.
Release rates: 0.5 – 1/square meter. Higher release rates will result in more rapid control. Regular releases are recommended for continuous control.
Biological Pest Control Agents
Biocontrols are an effective tool to growers in just about any situation. Bear in mind that when using biocontrols, a new set
of rules must be followed:
1. Growers must reduce the amounts of pesticides used, and in most cases, either substitute what’s on hand or, better yet, simply discontinue the use of pesticides entirely. (The outcome of this is typically a major reduction in applicator labor.)
2. Multiple releases of biocontrols are necessary in nearly every case, like most sprays, and should be thought of as a part of an overall program or strategy.
3. All live biocontrols are shipped next day air, from the grower, therefore freight costs can be high. Detailed short-term storage, handling and release instructions are included with every order.
Orders must be placed by Wednesday 12pm CST to get shipment by the following week.
Note to growers: Information provided here is not complete. More information is needed to successfully implement a biocontrol program.