... growing and hybridizing all kinds of plants in zone 6b Maryland since the 1980's.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Little helpers in the war on aphids

They're not exactly controlling the aphid outbreak in a very noticeable way but every little bit helps. Not sure of the exact identification but I'm pretty sure these little braconid wasps are why I keep finding aphid "mummies" - hollowed out brown shells of aphids that have been used [eaten from inside out] by the braconid wasp larva. Ghoulish but it's all part of the web of nature and they're helping me avoid an all-out aphid epidemic.
Little Aphidius sp. (???) wasp, maybe hunting for an aphid to lay an egg on...
An aphid "mummy" 
Closer view of an aphid "mummy"

I tried to get a picture of a fungus gnat so you could see how different they are but wouldn't you know, couldn't find one! Sometimes we have so many fungus gnats that I have to keep my mouth shut to keep from eating them. Evidently my watering schedule (letting things dry out more) and using perlite as a soil covering has reduced the fungus gnat population substantially.

learn more about Aphidius sp. - parasitizing aphids

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