Aphid Organic Pest Control – Lacewing Larvae
Aphids may be better known as greenfly or blackfly. Almost any crop can be infested with them and they are particularly common. This pest family is one of the biggest on the allotment.
The most common signs that you have Aphids are:
- Leaf Distortion
- Leaf Yellowing
- Sticky upper-surface or leaves
- White skins on upper surface of leaves
- Sometimes, black sooty mould from sticky honeydew produced by aphids
Aphids can be active all year round but are most active at temperatures between 10 and 35.
How It Works
Lacewing larvae are sometimes known as predator of aphids and carry the nickname of “aphid lion” as one larva alone can consume 100 – 600 aphids within its life.
The adult lacewings hibernate over the winter and breed in the summer. The first larvae that emerge are brown and roughly 4mm long. The older larvae are much paler and are around 13mm long with bristles on their back. A young larva of predatory lacewing, an extremely active predator with large pincers used to attack, hold and suck the juices from the pest body. Lacewings are supplied as juveniles or larvae; this depends on the time of year.
Lacewings are flying insects that are very common, they are about 12-15mm and have green bodies and lovely delicate lacy wings which fold onto their back when they are resting. They eat honey, pollen and nectar when they are mature, therefore getting larvae or juveniles is important as they eat greenfly, red spider mite, whitefly eggs, mealybug, scale insect, thrips and caterpillars.
Lacewings are also able to tolerate small amounts of pesticide residue and are naturally occurring within the UK.
How to use
Lightly rotate and roll the shaker tub to evenly spread out the larvae around the carrier. Sprinkle the contents of the tube onto leaves towards the bottom of the plant. If you would prefer, you can sprinkle these into small paper cones placed within the leaves.
Lacewings are able to survive in cooler temperatures; however, their life cycle is significantly slower which could cause pest populations to increase in the time that the larvae take to hatch. The best temperature to keep them at is between 15°C & 30°C. Temperatures above 30°C could have negative effects. At 22°C the eggs take roughly a week to hatch, at 15°C they take 2 weeks to hatch and at 28°C it could be a matter of days.
|Latin Name||Chrysoline C (Chrysoperla carnea)|
|Pack Size||500ml Tube|
|Number of Larvae||500|
|Species controlled||Effective at controlling established aphid populations. Also feed on whitefly eggs and scales, thrips larvae, moth eggs, young mealybug nymphs and other small insects.|
|When to use||Use on established populations of aphids or other pest colonies, ideal for organic crops.|
|Rates of use||10 larvae per 1m² repeat after 2-3 weeks.|