Aphidius colemani, ervi - Aphid parasite blend 500

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Aphidius colemani is a natural US native aphid parasite and very useful and effective for the prevention and low-infestation management of various aphid species. These 2-3 millimeter mini-wasps are best used for preventing the establishment of more than 40 species of aphids. They can also tackle light to medium infestations. And, if established, they can adequately protect a crop throughout the season.

Aphidius colemani, normally shipped as mummies ready to emerge within days is the product of choice when melon or cotton aphids (Aphis gossypii) are present as these are typically the aphid species on which they are reared. (expect to see a few hatched adults on arrival)

Aphidius will attack a wide variety of aphid spp., including melon and cotton aphids as these are typically the aphid species they are reared on, and will also parasitize green peach aphid (Myzus persicae), the tobacco aphid (Myzus nicotianae) and the bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi) commonly used on banker plants, among others. We have not yet found an agriculturally significant aphid which Aphidius will not choose as an oviposition site.

These parasitoids seek aphids, hover overhead and deposit their eggs inside the aphid (oviposition). Adult wasps live two to three weeks and will lay eggs in as many as 300 aphids over the period of their lives, increasing the numbers of wasps as they do.  The wasp larvae hatch from the eggs, slowly weaken and kill the aphids from within (endoparasitism). The aphids then turn into inflated “mummies” as the wasps pupate. The life-span of these parasitoids is roughly 2 weeks in the immature stages, then another 2 weeks as active adults.

Conditions for optimum performance is between 64-75°F (17.5-24°C) with a relative humidity of around 80%. These are optimum conditions and not necessarily a prerequisite of successful implementation. Significantly cooler or warmer temperatures and humidity fluctuations will hamper reproduction and development by a certain degree.

Appropriate for garden and greenhouse use, aphid parasites can be used both as a preventive measure and to combat infestations. Proof they’re at work can be found by searching for the brown, mummified shells left of dead aphids.

Aphidius wasps will work in fairly cool areas with a low light levels and a short photoperiod. Moreover, they are really easy to scout. One additional benefit: it is very common to hear reports of these aphid parasitoids returning the following year(s).

Aphidius spp. wasps are superb preventive agents, thus offering growers a potential money-saving tool. Additionally, they can establish themselves in nearly any region of the country; they overwinter in the toughest climates. Once established, growers might be able to reduce the size of releases made due to the presence of on-site wasps: another money-saver.

To determine if more Aphidius spp. wasps or hyperparasites are emerging out of your mummies, take a close look at the exit hole. The emergence of the Aphidius spp. wasp produces a clean, round hole without jagged edges. And often the flap or lid of removed material is absent. Scouts have the obvious mummies and exit holes to look for, but with these agents, there will probably be some visible and nearly instant reduction in the pest count. When Aphidius spp. are released, aphids often send a scent signal of alarm. An additional sign of parasitism — early parasitism — and Aphidius spp. activity in your crop is the tiny dark-orange to reddish/brown oviposition [sting] mark which may be present on the back-end to top of the aphids — on the abdomen. Just prior to the wasp pupating, its host aphid will turn a grayish color. This, however, depends upon the host species.

To determine if more Aphidius spp. wasps or hyperparasites are emerging out of your mummies, take a close look at the exit hole. The emergence of the Aphidius spp. wasp produces a clean, round hole without jagged edges. And often the flap or lid of removed material is absent. Scouts have the obvious mummies and exit holes to look for, but with these agents, there will probably be some visible and nearly instant reduction in the pest count. When Aphidius spp. are released, aphids often send a scent signal of alarm. An additional sign of parasitism — early parasitism — and Aphidius spp. activity in your crop is the tiny dark-orange to reddish/brown oviposition [sting] mark which may be present on the back-end to top of the aphids — on the abdomen. Just prior to the wasp pupating, its host aphid will turn a grayish color. This, however, depends upon the host species.

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