Koppert Biological Systems has launched Aphiscout, a parasitic wasp mix intended to detect the early signs of aphid infestation in the crop and so guide growers’ IPM strategy.
Product manager Tim Bossinga expects it to prove a valuable solution for soft fruit growers at the start of the season. “Rule one of crop protection is scouting, scouting, scouting,” he said.
“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.”
Aphiscout is a mix of the parasitic wasps Praon volucre, Aphidius colemani, A. ervi,Aphelinus abdominalis, and Ephedrus cerasicola., which together parasitise the most common 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 added.
Aphiscout is supplied in a cylinder containing 250 mummies, together with a felt pad containing sugar to provide hatched wasps with an energy boost.