Aphid Parasitic Wasp - Aphidius colemani


Size

What are Aphids and how do I identify them?

Aphid is a name for a large group of insects, many of which can cause serious damage to plants. They extract sap from plants causing a reduction in plant growth, reduced yields, and sometimes defoliation. They can also secrete toxic substances into the plants. The Aphids take proteins from the sap, then the excess sugar left in the sap is excreted back onto plants. This causes a sticky mess on the leaves, which black moulds often grow on.

Aphids are soft bodied and often shed white skins onto leaves. Adult Aphids can be green, yellow, pink, black, grey or brown.

What are Aphidius colemani and how can they help?

Aphidius colemani are natural parasites of Aphids and Greenfly. These tiny beneficial insects lay their eggs inside Aphids. The Aphid then dies and turns into a parasitised mummy. This is brown in colour and contains a developing colemani wasp. The wasp grows and eats its way out of the Aphid, puncturing a small hole through the mummy in order to emerge. This process takes about 2 weeks in a suitable environment. The newly emerged colemani will then start to search for other Aphids to lay eggs in and kill. This is a classic example of biological control at work. 

Aphidius colemani do not parasitise all species of Aphids but do parasitise the following species:

  • Peach Potato Aphid (Myzus persicae ver persicae)
  • Cotton Aphid (Aphis gossypii)
  • Tobacco Aphid (Myzus persicae ver nicotianae)
  • Leaf Curling Plum Aphid (Brachcaudus helichrysi)
  • Alder Buckthorn (Aphis frangolae)
  • Green Peach Aphid (Mysus persicae)
  • Bird Cherry/Oat Aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi)
  • Root Grain Aphid (Sitobion avenae)

What conditions do Aphidius colemani require?

The Aphidius colemani should be introduced in temperatures over 13.

Where should I use my Aphidius colemani?

The Aphidius colemani are more effective if introduced in a controlled environment such as a greenhouse.

When should I use my Aphidius colemani?

The Aphidius colemani should be used in peak Aphid season which is from March to September.

How many Aphidius colemani do I need?

One bottle of Aphidius colemani will treat an average small greenhouse.

Repeat applications maybe required for heavy infestations of Aphids, or if treating Aphids over a season.In such cases it is recommended that you introduce the Aphidius colemani every 2 weeks (in peak Aphid season).

In cases of lighter infestation, it is recommended that the colemani be introduced for at least 3 weeks.

Large Aphid colonies may also require the introduction of Lacewing larvae, Ladybird larvae or the Aphidoletes aphidimyza

If there are multiple species of Aphids present, we recommend the introduction of Aphiscout, a product containing multiple Aphid parasites

How do I apply my Aphidius colemani?

The Aphidius colemani are supplied in different sized bottles containing either 250, 500, 1000 or 5000 colemani parasitic wasps.

To apply the colemani place the bottle directly amongst your plants. Please do not scatter the colemani.

The Aphidius colemani will hatch inside the bottle, then fly out and begin looking for Aphids/Greenfly.

Please ensure to remove any sticky traps when introducing the colemani, as the wasps will get caught on them.

Full instructions will be provided on delivery

Chemical Pesticides

Aphidius colemaniis a living creature and can be affected by any chemical pesticides used within the previous few weeks. As a general guide, refrain from using Pyrethrum or SB Plant Invigorator 2 days prior to use. Other chemicals insecticides can have long lasting residues that could harm colemani and other predators for much longer periods. Refrain from using these products or check with Dragonfli for information on the effect of these products on our predators.