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Thursday, June 29, 2023 Matt D. Connecticut

Entry 27 of 100  
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Fighting Aphids with Beneficial Insects

Aphids were noticed on the plant on June 25th so beneficial insects were ordered and they arrived today. Most growers will just go the chemical route when it comes to insects, however in some cases beneficial insects offer greater advantages such as no leaf ageing due to the active ingredient added, longer term control and reduced environmental impacts.

There are some different considerations when going this route as you need to have a positive identification on the target pest insect. The beneficials can be very host specific so if the pest insect identification is wrong, the beneficial insect match will also be wrong and the effectiveness may be poor. It is this scenario that some growers get into and think the beneficials did not work, so take this into consideration. Also, growers need to be careful what they are applying to the plant especially around the time of insect release.

The image is dark as low light hours are the ideal time for beneficial insects to be released into the growing area. This gives them a chance to get established and moisture is more likely to be present for a longer period of time. Misting the area of release with water is another way to help the insects transition to the area.

For this area which is about 1,200sq.ft. of growing area and a plant around 650sq.ft. plant at this time, the following insects were applied…

Green Lacewing = 5,000 Eggs
Assassin Bugs = 250 Eggs

The aphid population was generally isolated and in small pockets. May not be the idea case for beneficial insects but they will hopefully take care of the problem. Spraying insecticides as a general spray for isolated areas did not seem great to target beneficials applied in isolated areas should be a better approach.

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