Aphidoletes aphidimyza

Aphid Predatory Midge

by Applied BioNomics

PO Box 1555, Ventura, CA 93002

* 805-643-5407 *

      1. fax 805-643-6267

question e-mail bugnet@rinconvitova.com

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Target pest

Aphids, all types, to some extent potato (tomato, pepper) psyllid


‘Aphidoletes’ larvae are voracious native predators of over 60 species of aphids.

Use in Biological Control

Monitoring Tips

Using 10-15 X hand lens, full grown larvae are easy to see among the aphids because of their characteristic orange color. Younger larvae are smaller and pale in color, difficult to see.

Life Cycle

Life cycle takes 21 days at 21º C (70º F) depending on temperature and prey availability.

Product Information

Aphidoletes is sent as pupae (cocoons) in moist vermiculite or sand. The predators may be released in either of two ways:

Note: Aphidoletes larvae respond to cool temperatures and shortening day lengths (less than 16 hrs) by entering diapause (like a hibernation state). There has been hesitation in the past to use them between September and mid-March. However new observations suggest a great value from low year-round releases in greenhouses to keep the pressure on low levels of aphids (see below).

Introduction Rates

Generally, Aphidoletes should be released in the spring, 2 or 3 times at 7-10 day intervals to establish the predator. With our fresh Aphidoletes you only need one midge per ten ft2 (m2) or 1200 per acre per week. Higher aphid populations are brought down with releases of 2400/acre to reach a ratio of one midge to 100 aphids.

Greenhouse Vegetables

Outdoor Use

For large areas, such as apple orchards, use 2,000-8,000 Aphidoletes/ha (1,000-4,000/acre), repeated 1-3 times, 1-2 weeks apart, or until established. For outdoor use, release in the evening upwind from the planting so prevailing winds help disperse the midges throughout the plot.

For Best Results

Using Pesticides

Ask for information on effects of specific pesticides on Aphidoletes. For example, pirimicarb (i.e., Pirliss®) is slightly toxic to Aphidoletes. It’s repellent effect disperses aphids. Pirimicarb residues have been found to repel Aphidoletes females from laying eggs on leaves; therefore, avoid frequent use. For organic, a Beauveria or essential oil product may be enough for hotspots along with insecticidal soaps. Soap is harmful to all stages of Aphidoletes, but has no residual effect.

© 2006 Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Inc. Reproduction whole or part requires permission.