Aphidius matricariae–A Beneficial Bug

This is an amazing solution to a plant problem.  Big fat hungry aphids are gobbling away on the plants, sucking and deforming the leaves and getting out of control.  This little parasitic wasp is released and is attracted to the aphid colonies immediately.  It begins to lay its eggs inside of aphids and will attack 200-300 aphids in the next week.  Yes, parasitism is slightly disturbing, especially if you’re on the wrong end.  The wasp eggs hatch inside the aphid body and begin feeding on the aphid from the inside out.  They complete their development inside the aphid body and emerge from the ‘aphid mummy’ after 15 days as a new adult and the life cycle begins again.   More wasps, less aphids, happy plants, healthy greenhouse!

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This is the container of Aphidius that we received from Sound Horticulture to release in our school greenhouse.  We hope to use more beneficial insects for pest management and spray less chemicals.  We also released Aphidoletes, Stratiolaelaps and Ambylesius cucumeris, the subject of future posts!

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