Aphids are small insects 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. 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 - this is usually the 1st sign of an aphid infestation. 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. To control aphids :-
- Use Aphidius when aphids are active and the average temperature is 10°C/50°F.
- Use the Aphid Predator Mix when aphid numbers are higher or spread out throughout a mixture of plants.
- If the temperature is below 10°C/50°F, use SB Invigorator to hold the fort until temperatures rise and then introduce Aphidius / Aphid Predator Mix.
- If the infestation is very heavy then spray with our natural spray SB Invigorator first to reduce numbers before introducing Aphidius / Aphid Predator Mix - see our Aphid Emergency Pest Pack.
- Ladybird Larvae or Lacewing Larvae can also be used to control HEAVY infestations in your greenhouse / conservatory.
Control aphids naturally by introducing Aphidius OR an Aphid Predator Mix AS SOON as you see aphids (greenfly and / or blackfly) and the temp is 10°C/50°F :-
- 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. Introduce Aphidius as soon as aphids are present and the average temperature is 10°C/50°F.
- Use an Aphid Predator Mix when aphid numbers are higher and are spread out through out through a range of plants, which means a variety of different aphid species may be present. This mix contains a total of 240 predators and includes a mixture of our best-selling Aphidius Colemani PLUS Aphidius Ervi , Aphidius matricariae, Aphelinu abdominalis, Prao volucre and Ephedrus cerasicola. Introduce AS SOON as you see aphids (greenfly and / or blackfly) and the temp is 10°C/50°F. This mixture of aphid predators is ideal for use in conservatories / greenhouses / grow rooms / hydroponic systems and is safe to use with food crops. They are sent by 1st class post and will fit through the letterbox, but please allow up to 7 days for delivery. Introduce Aphid Predator Mix as soon as aphids are present and the average temperature is 10°C/50°F.
N.B. If you have recently used a chemical spray i.e. within the last 2-3 weeks, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to check how soon Aphidius can be introduced?