All the aphid species are being controlled by a native fly that adapts to the cold and can be used both as larva and adult.
A small fly, native to the Mediterranean area, Sphaerophoria rueppellii, has become the most effective biological solution for the success of the biological control of aphids on strawberries and red berries. With a size of just over 1 centimetre, it is a voracious predator of all the aphid species and it is already present on hundreds of hectares of red berries in the province of Huelva. Its presence in the strawberry fields is increasing significantly during 2020/2021.
The Sphaerophoria rueppellii syrphid, which Koppert markets under the trade name of PredaNostrum®, has been shown to be able to bring a halt to aphids when the protocol applied by the Koppert technicians is followed, which contemplates a series of specific recommendations in terms of the conditions of the farm and the population level of the pest, both related to application dates and to the suitable amounts used for each case.
One of the most important benefits of PredaNostrum® is its versatility and broad field of action, in addition to its ease of installation in the fields before the appearance of the first outbreaks of aphids. In any situation, it is a natural enemy that is easy to use and to apply. Producers are being very positively surprised regarding how well it works against the specific strawberry aphid, Chaetosiphon fragaefolii, which has ceased to be a problem for which there was no really effective biological solution.
Adult PredaNostrum® have been kept in the greenhouses for the past few weeks, being fed on Lobularia and on strawberry and bilberry flowers, patrolling until the appearance of the first aphids and also contributing to the pollination of these crops. With the drop in temperatures and the appearance of the first outbreaks, the great locating and controlling work carried out by this auxiliary insect has been proven.
“The adults are like natural drones that patrol around the greenhouse, ready to lay up to 800 eggs with the first outbreaks of aphids. The larvae are born a few hours later, immediately starting to devour aphid after aphid. They can eat up to 1,000 aphids each during their lifecycle,” points out Gonzalo García, sales manager for Koppert in Huelva.
PredaNostrum® can also be applied as a cure when there are outbreaks of specific aphids. To dos this, the product is applied in larvae format, pouring them directly on the aphid outbreaks. The speed of action of the larvae means that, in less than 48 hours, the outbreaks are brought under control.
The strategic placement of a large part of the strawberry crops, close to the Doñana National Park, means that every effort regarding ecological, residue-free production will have a positive impact on an ecosystem that is famous all over the world.