Aphids are a major pest underglass - they are all similar in appearance although they vary greatly in colour, but are most commonly green or black. They are small with long spindly legs and antennae. During the summer they are wingless as they feed on the plant, but as the population increases winged forms appear which help to spread the infection. Control aphids naturally by introducing Aphidius as soon as aphids are present at the daytime temp is 10c.
Aphids feed by sucking the sap from the plant, this stunts the growth and causes distortion of the growing point. The aphid absorbs large quantities of plant sap and this sap contains excess sugar that the aphid excretes as honeydew. This is sticky and coats the lower leaves of your plants and often a sooty mould will develops on the honeydew, which is unsightly and reduces the plants ability to manufacture food causing further loss of vigor. Aphids are fast breeders - each female is capable of producing 6-8 live young daily over a 2/3 week period. Importing just one aphid on a plant can quickly lead to severe infestation. It is essential to check all plants brought into the greenhouse or conservatory for signs of aphids and deal with them immediately. In summer winged females will come in through greenhouse vents, so during warm weather be extra vigilant.
Control aphids naturally - Introduce Aphidius as soon as aphids are present and the average temperature is 10C/50F - below 10C/50F, use SB Invigorator to hold the fort until the temperatures rise.
Aphidius - This naturally occurring aphid parasite is capable of attacking a wide range of aphid species. Aphidius is supplied in small tubes, which are opened in the greenhouse / conservatory and the small Aphidius will fly out and search out the aphids. Once the Aphidius finds an aphid, it lays an egg in the aphid. As the egg hatches the resulting larvae feeds on the inside of the aphid destroying it. Following pupation, the adult leaves the dead aphid and will then search out its own aphids to infect. As the aphidius population increases the aphids will be controlled. As well as directly controlling the aphids, the activities of aphidius "upset" the aphid colonies and as a result they produce a warning pheromone which alerts the whole population, which try to escape. Many fall to the ground and die helping the parasite control aphid numbers.
"Aphidius - such nice little workers! I sat and watched one land on my citrus. It found an aphid straightaway and polished it off." An observant Green Gardener customer.
"Absolutely brilliant! For years I'd had a sticky problem in my greenhouse - aphidius was wonderful. I'd recommend it to anyone." Mrs R from Kent.
Aphidius is available as a standard pack or as an economy pack, but which should you use? :-
- A Standard Pack is one introduction of 500 Aphidius and this is ideal for is for a small greenhouse / conservatory where the aphids have just appeared.
- An economy pack is one introduction of over 1000 Aphidius and is the most economical way to buy either control and is for larger conservatories / greenhouses or large numbers of aphids.
SB Invigorator - Use SB Invigorator spray to control aphids until the temp. is 10C/50F and Aphidius can be introduced. SB Invigorator can then be used to mop up any aphid "hotspots" i.e. any big clusters of aphids that appear once the aphidius have been introduced. You should also use it for a pest emergency - been away or not noticed a rapid build up of aphids - use SB Invigorator to get control BEFORE introducing beneficial insects.
SB Invigorator - Controls aphids and used regularly will reduce fungal diseases such as mildew PLUS it contains a foliar feed to help plants recover from pest attack. SB Invigorator is not only highly effective, but it is also biodegradable and non -toxic ,which means it can be used in the garden, conservatory or in the greenhouse and on edible plants too - pick and eat straightway. It is suitable for use throughout the year. SB Invigorator is brilliant at clearing heavy infestations BEFORE introducing a natural control - see our Emergency Pest Pack below.
SB Invigorator is available as a 500ml ready to use spray, as a 250ml concentrate (makes 25 litres of spray) or as a 1 litre super concentrate (makes 500 litres) for use in your own sprayer.
"The plant invigorator spray is working beautifully on the aphids in the back garden and it is a pleasure to be able to spray something effective ,but based only on plant oils." Jacob by email.