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Insects 2017, 8(2), 38; doi:10.3390/insects8020038

Identification of Conditions for Successful Aphid Control by Ladybirds in Greenhouses

National Biological Control Laboratory, Jamie Whitten Delta States Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Stoneville, MS 38776, USA
Academic Editor: Brian T. Forschler
Received: 14 December 2016 / Revised: 16 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1932 KB, uploaded 28 March 2017]   |  

Abstract

As part of my research on the mass production and augmentative release of ladybirds, I reviewed the primary research literature to test the prediction that ladybirds are effective aphid predators in greenhouses. Aphid population reduction exceeded 50% in most studies and ladybird release rates usually did not correlate with aphid reduction. The ratio of aphid reduction/release rate was slightly less for larvae than adults in some studies, suggesting that larvae were less effective (than adults) in suppressing aphids. Some adult releases were inside cages, thereby limiting adult dispersion from plants. Overall, the ratio of aphid reduction/release rate was greatest for ladybird adults of the normal strain (several species combined), but least for adults of a flightless Harmonia axyridis strain. The combined action of ladybirds and hymenopteran parasitoids could have a net positive effect on aphid population suppression and, consequently, on host (crop) plants. However, ladybird encounters with aphid-tending or foraging ants must be reduced. Deploying ladybirds to help manage aphids in greenhouses and similar protective structures is encouraged. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aphididae; biological control; Coccinellidae; organic agriculture; pest management; predation Aphididae; biological control; Coccinellidae; organic agriculture; pest management; predation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Riddick, E.W. Identification of Conditions for Successful Aphid Control by Ladybirds in Greenhouses. Insects 2017, 8, 38.

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