Organic Controls for Garden Pests
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Aphidius Colemani and Ervi

Widely used in commercial glasshouses, Aphidius are a highly effective way of reducing aphid numbers. Aphidius Colemani and Aphidius Ervi are Aphid parasites, they lay their eggs inside the adult Aphids which are then paralysed, the young wasp hatches out of the aphid and turns the dying carcass into a husk or "mummy".

These tiny insects fly around searching for their aphid prey, they're very difficult to spot with the naked eye and once they're released it's almost impossible. They look a bit like a very small flying ant, but they are in fact technically "braconid wasps" related closer to wasps than to ants.

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Aphid mummies

Soon after you introduce Aphidius you should start to notice round buff-coloured egg shaped lumps replacing the active aphids - this is the sign that Aphidius are taking over. The aphids are being "mummified", and the young Aphidius emerge out of the dead carcasses. The mummies can easily be brushed off ornamental plants with a hand or soft duster.

This beneficial insect is a native insect to the UK, so it does works outside, but is best in a glasshouse or conservatory where it will stay and reproduce until there are no more Aphids to parasitise. Introduce Aphidius early in the season, when temperatures are regularly above 15C (60F). If you leave it too late, and the aphids are already gaining ground then you can use SB Plant Invigorator or another soft insecticide to reduce the population while waiting for your aphidius to arrive.

Some growers choose to keep their Aphidius populations going by providing "banker plants" like grasses or nettles where aphids like to congregate.

Aphidius works best on small, isolated patches of aphid and the species of Aphidius used depends on the species of aphid present. Aphidius Colemani is the more common aphid control and works well on greenfly, blackfly and a wide range of smaller aphids. Aphidius Ervi is best used for larger aphid varieties or where there is a mixture of different types of aphid present.

Aphidius colemani

Aphidius are tiny flying insects which lay their eggs within the aphid bodies and turn the dying aphid into a "mummy" which makes a useful nest for hatching out more parasites.
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Aphidius colemani
Tube of 500
24.95 inc P&P

Aphidius ervi - for larger aphids

Aphidius ervi is a very similar insect to Aphidius colemani, but it is better for control of larger aphids such as Macrosiphum euphorbiae and Aulacorthum solani. It is usually used as a preventative measure rather than as a control for large outbreaks, as it may take a little longer to get established. We offer a mix of the two predators to get the best of both insects.(For large outbreaks you might consider insects that eat adult aphids such as lacewings or ladybirds.)
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Apidius colemani and ervi mix
Mixed tube of 500
49.95 inc P&P