Aphid control in organic crop production at Murgiverde SCA, in Andalusia, has been significantly improved following the addition of the new Eupeodes-System to the existing control strategy.
Indigenous to Europe, Eupeodes corollae is a generalist predatory hoverfly feeding on all significant aphid species found in horticultural crops.
“Eupeodes has excellent potential for the biological control of aphids due to its high mobility,” explains Antonio Robledo, head of R&D at Biobest Sistemas S.L. “The adults are excellent fliers, capable of locating aphid colonies anywhere in the crop. The voracious Eupeodes larva has an enormous capacity to feed on aphids – a single larva can eat up to 1000 aphids before pupating.”
Aphids - major challenge
Hilarión Fernández Cara is an experienced grower at Murgiverde SCA where he has cultivated a range of organic vegetable crops for the past six years.
“One of the main pest control management challenges we face is aphids,” says Hilarión. “We grow a range of organic crops - such as peppers, cucumbers, and aubergines - at different times of the year. In the past, I always experienced problems controlling Macrosiphum in summer and autumn.”
Well-adapted to climate
In the past, Hilarión employed an aphid control strategy combining parasitoids and predators. “I have been using Sphaerophoria-System for two seasons,” he explains. “This year the results have been even better with the addition of the new Eupeodes-System, which is well adapted to our climate.”
Hilarión first used Eupeodes-System on an early organic aubergine crop suffering a major attack of Macrosiphum. With the help of Eupeodes-System, he achieved good levels of control. “Since Eupeodes-System is giving such good results, we will be deploying the same strategy in our organic pepper and cucumber crops.”
“European growers deploying biological control strategies are beginning to view Eupeodes-System as an essential tool to complement their aphid control strategies,” says Antonio.
Already observed controlling aphids in a range of protected crops in a number of European countries, Biobest is exploring the potential for Eupeodes-System to become a powerful weapon in aphid control across Europe.