Organic Controls for Garden Pests
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Aphidius - The Aphid Parasites

Widely used in commercial glasshouses, Aphidius is a highly effective way of reducing aphid numbers. Aphidius are known as Aphid parasites and lay their eggs inside the adult Aphids, turning the dying carcases into aphid "mummies".

These tiny insects fly around searching out their aphid prey, but you probably won't notice them unless you are looking carefully. They look a bit like a miniature version of a 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.

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 when temperatures are regularly above 15C (60F). If you leave it too late, and the aphids are already gaining ground then use SB Plant Invigorator or another soft insecticide to reduce the population while waiting for your aphidius to arrive.

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

Aphidius works better 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 including UK Postage

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
50.00 including UK postage