New parasitic wasp mix detects first signs of aphid infestation
A new product from Netherlands-based Koppert Systems detects the early signs of aphid infestations, giving growers reliable information about the correct release strategy.
The new parasitic wasp mix Aphiscout was launched at the International Trade Fair for Plants (IPM) in Essen with the campaign 'Looking for trouble!'
"Parasitic wasps are geared to detect and parasitize long before they are visible to the human eye," product manager Tim Bossinga explained in a release.
Aphiscout is a mix of the parasitic wasps Praon volucre, Aphidius colemani, Aphidius ervi, Aphelinus abdominalis, and Ephedrus cerasicola, each with its own preferences; together, they can deal with the most commonly occurring types of aphid.
The parasitized aphids also provide information on which parasitic wasp can best be released for a large-scale offensive.
"It's like sending out scouts for a reconnaissance mission first," Bossinga said, adding the product was supplied in a cylinder containing 250 mummies and parasitic wasps that would 'go into battle' full of energy thanks to a felt NectarPad containing sugar water.
The packaging features a simple hanging system, whereby the sticky outer layer of the label can be used to fix the container around a wire or a plant stem, for example.
"Rule one of crop protection is: scouting, scouting, scouting. However, aphid populations develop so quickly that by the time you detect them it is often too late to gain control over the infestation by biological means. With Aphiscout in the vanguard, you stay one step ahead of the problem," Bossinga said.