Beneficial Insects to Control Aphids Infestation – Aphids have the potential to seriously harm our garden plants, even causing them to die eventually. Ichneumon wasps, Lacewings, and other helpful insects can be used effectively in the garden in order to combat pesky garden pests like aphids.
It is not uncommon to find aphids (Aphidoidea) on the windowsill, in our gardens, or in greenhouses. Plant sap suckers range in color from green to black depending on their species and are only just a few millimeters long in size.
While consuming the plant’s phloem sap, they excrete “honeydew,” which appears as a sticky, glistening layer on the leaves of the plant. The sucking action of the aphid causes the leaves to curl and reduces the growth of the plant. We’ve compiled a list of the most effective and beneficial insects to get rid of aphids and these methods are safe and eco-friendly.
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Which Beneficial Insects (Bugs) Help in Controlling Aphids
Beneficial insects like the ichneumon wasp as well as the ladybug are well known for their effectiveness in controlling the Aphid infestation problem. Lacewings and Aphid midges, on the other hand, can assist control aphid populations on your plants.
It is possible to obtain and maintain beneficial insects, particularly for garden plants in greenhouses, winter gardens, and indoor houseplants with aphids. It’s best to encourage beneficial insects to migrate on their own by providing environments where they feel safe.
In the field, things are more difficult because helpful insects just disperse and don’t stay just on the treated plants.
Aphid parasitization by ichneumonid wasps (Ichneumonidae) is an excellent natural control method. For this reason, she controls her host, the plant pest, by laying her eggs inside the aphid larvae as well as adult aphids.
Ichneumon wasps are effective against aphids in both indoor and outdoor settings. In a short period of time, one female ichneumon wasp may feed on up to 500 aphids. The female ichneumon wasp lays an egg in the dazed aphid with her ovipositor. The aphid is killed by the larva that develops from the egg later on.
There is no danger from the little ichneumon wasp to plants or humans because of its small size. These helpful aphid-eating insects can be purchased in tiny pots online or at specialty retailers. Hanging these pots on the diseased plant encourages the aphids to spread on their own.
When the temperature rises above 15 degrees Celsius, ichneumon wasps can be used. Before using, identify the aphid species or use a combination of multiple ichneumon wasp species. Only a few aphid species can be parasitized by a certain ichneumon species.
Ichneumon wasp providers, on the other hand, will be pleased to provide you with guidance in this regard. Whiteflies, codling moths, and cabbage whiteflies can all be controlled by Ichneumon wasps. It’s possible to supply little wooden logs with millimeter-sized holes to ichneumon wasps inside the field if you don’t want to give up on the wasps’ help.
Here you can find the most important Ichneumon wasp species along with the specific aphid species on which they are most effective on:
Aphid species: ichneumon species:
Peach aphid (Myzus persicae) Aphidius colemani
Green cucumber aphid (Aphis gossypii) Aphidius colemani
Potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae) Aphidius matricariae
Black bean aphid (Aphis fabae) Lysiphlebus testaceipes
A good luck charm for many, the Seven-spot Ladybug ( scientific name: Coccinella septempunctata) also helps us fight aphids. In the open air, the ladybug is completely at ease. Ladybug larvae, which measure between three and nine millimeters in length and are blue-black in color, devour aphids just as much as the adults.
Over the course of two weeks, a single larva can swallow as many as 4000 aphids. Using ladybug larvae to combat aphids even in the face of a significant infestation is, therefore, an excellent idea.
You can acquire ladybug eggs in little containers, which you can then scatter on the affected plant in the evenings or on cloudy days to help control the population of aphids. The voracious seven-spot ladybug larvae will hatch quickly from the eggs if the temperature is kept between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius.
In order to establish beneficial insects to fight against aphid infestation in your garden (or lawn), grow natural hedges as well as native plants such as white goosefoot to attract them.
In addition to being termed “aphid lions,” green lacewing larvae (Chrysoperla carnea) feed on aphids and have a hairy look. In greenhouses and outdoors, green lacewings are an effective aphid killer. They use their suction pincers to snag the aphids and spit them out.
In just two weeks, a lacewing larva may wipe out up to 800 aphids. It is possible to use helpful insects against aphids both indoors and outdoors. Green lacewings can be used as soon as the temperature rises over 10 degrees Celsius.
It is possible to purchase larvae in corrugated cardboard on the internet and tap them on the infected plant with a light tap. Because the larvae of the green lacewing devour both aphid and thrips and spider mite larvae, it is the perfect beneficial insect for plants that are infected with both of these pests.
The green lacewing prefers gardens with natural hedges and fall leaves left on the ground for the winter. Green lacewings are attracted to a red lacewing box, which also provides refuge for them.
Aphid Midges(Aphidoletes aphidimyza), also known as aphid lions are an excellent choice for controlling aphid infestations in greenhouses or in living spaces and residences. The larva of the Aphid midge stuns and sucks out the bugs. So, in a week, a single larva can consume up to 80 aphids.
Aphid populations can be suppressed more effectively with the use of beneficial insects if they are applied early on in the life cycle. When used between March and September, temperatures beyond 18 °C are permissible. Spraying the plant with some water on a regular basis aids in Aphid midge larvae settling.
All stages of the life cycle, larvae through adults, are absolutely non-toxic to both plants and people. The orange larvae hatch from aphid midge pupae, which may be acquired on the internet. The pupae have been dispersed over the area around the infected plant.
Predatory Mites to combat Aphids
Predatory mites are a good choice to combat infestations of spider mites or thrips. However, predatory mites may have no effect if your garden plants are covered with aphids. Predatory mites don’t feed on aphids, so we suggest using the other beneficial insects that have been discussed thus far.
How to Get Rid of Aphids by using Beneficial Insects and Bugs
There are a few beneficial insects that you can collect and preserve to use in case of a serious infestation. To keep pests like the aphids from overpopulating your garden, welcome and nurture beneficial garden insects. An attractive flower garden that also serves as a food source for insects can be used to accomplish this.
Our gardens, particularly in the summers, can become quite dry, which poses a threat to the insects that reside there. Insect watering holes are extremely handy in this situation. Insects can drink from a tiny dish of water with a few bits of cork or floating wood on the water surface.
It’s also critical to use only insect-friendly pesticides. Leave faded perennial stems or wood and bark piles standing to attract beneficial insects to your garden. Insect hotels are also an excellent idea since they provide safe havens for beneficial insects and allow them to breed. By doing this, you not only keep pests under control, but you also attract beneficial insects that pollinate your plants.
While we’re on the subject, aphids aren’t just consumed by insects like Ichneumon wasps, Aphid midges, ladybugs, and green lacewings but also by small birds. These beneficial insects might also be advertised as such in the garden.
Birds like the blue tit can nest in trees, hedges, or a secluded area of your yard thanks to nest boxes. Parent birds can assist you in the fight against pests.
The neem seed-based herbal remedies are also very effective against pests like aphids.