Growers of protected vegetables, fruit and ornamental crops have a new weapon against aphids. Biobest launches the Eupeodes-System from the beginning of June. The hoverfly Eupeodes corollae boosts aphid control.
“With the increasing loss of chemical crop protection products, Eupeodes-System is set to become a new cornerstone of early season aphid control,” says Biobest Product Manager, Hanne Steel.
Indigenous to Europe, Eupeodes larvae are extremely effective predators of all significant aphid species in horticultural crops. Being a generalist predator, this hoverfly can also contribute to control of mealybug, whitefly, thrips and spider mite.
Already effective from 10°C
“To promote good activity, sufficient daylight is required,” explains Hanne. “While Eupeodes operates in a wide temperature range, from 10°C to 30°C, optimal control is achieved between 15°C and 25°C.
Females actively searches for aphids
Highly mobile, female Eupeodes hoverflies actively search crops for aphid colonies in which to lay their eggs; a single female can lay up to 800. At 25°C these hatch within two days and pupate within a further eight. A single voracious larva can eat up to 1000 aphids before pupating.
Part of strong strategy
In summer months, Eupeodes-System can be combined with another native hoverfly: Sphaerophoria-System. Sphaerophoria works well when the temperature is between 25°C and 35°C. "The aphid control programme can also consist of the parasitic wasp Aphidius-System and the gall midge Aphidoletes-System. The new Eupeodes-System is thus part of a powerful and improved aphid control strategy. As part of this winning combination, the number of aphids in a crop can be significantly reduced," says Hanne.