Aphiscout, Koppert Biological Systems’ new parasitic wasp mix, is taking natural crop protection against aphids to a higher level.
Koppert Biological Systems introduced Aphiscout at IPM Essen with the campaign ‘Looking for trouble!’. This new crop protection agent detects the early signs of an aphid infestation and gives growers reliable information about the correct strategy to use. ‘Parasitic wasps are geared to detect aphids and parasitize them long before they are visible to the human eye,’ explains product manager Tim Bossinga.
Aphiscout is a mix of the Praon volucre, Aphidius colemani (see photo), Aphidius ervi, Aphelinus abdominalis, and Ephedrus cerasicola parasitic wasp species. Each of these has its own preferences and collectively they can combat the most common types of aphids. According to Koppert this makes Aphiscout the ideal form of basic protection against aphids. The parasitized aphids also provide information with regard to the best types of parasitic wasps to be released in a given large-scale offensive. ‘It’s like sending out scouts before planning your combat strategy,’ says Bossinga.
Aphiscout comes in a cylindrical package containing 250 mummies. Koppert developed a special NectarPad that is placed inside the container and contains enough sugar water to ensure that the parasitic wasps will go into battle bursting with energy. The packaging has been provided with an ingenious hanging system, in which the adhesive side of the label can be used to fasten the container around an object such as a wire or a plant stem. Besides its applications in greenhouse horticulture, Aphiscout will also be very useful to fruit growers.