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Aphid Parasite

Aphidius colemani

Aphidius colemani is a small wasp.  It belongs in the family Braconidae.  It is about the size of a gnat (2-3 mm long) and cannot sting humans.  They can be found naturally occurring or can be release in greenhouses or nurseries to gain control of several aphid species. Their ideal temperature range in 50-77 degrees F and a relative humidity of 70-80%. It is used to control green peach and melon aphids among others.

These wasps work by finding colonies of aphids and the female wasp bends her abdomen and stabs the aphid.  When she does this she lays a single egg inside the body of the aphid.  Each female can lay over 100 eggs. 

The wasp larva feeds on the aphid and eventually spinning a cocoon, still inside the aphids body.  Once the wasp has matured it will emerge out the back of the aphid body, which has swollen to look like a hard brown shell

Commercial Growers:

Aphidius colemani has proven to be an essential part of an aphid management program for commercial growers. Suppliers for commercial growers.

For Homeowner:

These wasps are naturally occurring so by providing a habitat for them it will encourage them to stay and parasitize aphids. Attracting beneficials.  If you do want to purchase them please see the suppliers for homeowners.

Aphid “mummy”

Aphid that has been parasitized by a wasp.

 

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