A small fly, native of the Mediterranean area, called Sphaerophoria rueppellii, has become the most effective biological control solution against aphids in strawberries and other berries (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries). With just over 1 centimeter in size, this fly is a voracious predator of all aphid species and is already present in hundreds of hectares devoted to the production of berries in the province of Huelva. Its presence in strawberry fields has been growing significantly during this 2020/2021 campaign.
The syrphid Sphaerophoria rueppellii, which Koppert markets under the trademark PredaNostrum®, has been shown to be able to stop the aphid when the protocol applied by Koppert technicians is followed.
One of the most important benefits of Predanostrum® is its versatility and wide field of action, in addition to its ease to settle in the field before the first aphids appear. Producers are very positively surprised by the good performance of this fly in controlling a specific strawberry aphid: Chaetosiphon fragaefolii, which has ceased to become a problem for which there were no truly effective biological solutions.
The Predanostrum® adults have been present for weeks inside the greenhouses, feeding on Lobularia and the strawberry and blueberry flowers, patrolling until the first aphids appeared and also contributing to the crops’ pollination. With the drop in temperatures and the appearance of the first outbreaks, the auxiliary insect has proven to do great work in terms of location and control.
“The adults are like natural drones that patrol the greenhouse, laying up to 800 eggs right as the first aphid outbreaks occur. Within a few hours, the larvae hatch and immediately begin to prey on the aphids, eating up to 1,000 aphids each during their life cycle,” says Gonzalo García, Koppert’s commercial manager in the Huelva area.
Predanostrum® can also be applied as a cure when there are specific aphid foci. To be used as a curative treatment, it is applied in larval form, placing it directly on the aphid foci. The larvae act very quickly, making it easier for aphid outbreaks to be under control in less than 48 hours.
The following video shows how Predanostrum® is used in strawberry crops:
For more information:
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