Aphids. Cotton (melon) aphid, Aphis gossypii and green peach aphid Myzuz persicae.
A parasitic wasp that attacks several species of aphids. Used mostly in greenhouses producing vegetables and ornamentals. Adult wasps are black 2-3 mm long with long antennae and narrow mid drifts. Adult females lay eggs from their abdomen by quickly curling their abdomen and puncturing an aphid simultaneously with their ovipositor. The egg, once inside the aphid, will hatch into a larva and consume the aphid. The larvae then pupates (spins a cocoon) inside the dead aphid. The mummified aphid swells into a characteristic round, golden brown mummy. The emerging adult will cut a symmetrical hole at the bottom end to escape from the mummified aphid.
After injecting the aphid with an egg it takes about a week for the mummy to form and then another week for the adult to appear. Each female can lay more than 100 eggs.
Aphidoletes colemani are shipped in a container of 500 pupae each. Some adults may have emerged during transit. Sex ratio 65% female.
Release emerged adults as soon as possible upon receipt, evenings are best. Containers with pupae may be left open under aphid colonies in the shade.
Preventative release: 1-5 wasps per square ft. every 1-2 weeks.
Curative release: 5 wasps per square ft. weekly for at least 3 weeks.
Egg to adult 2 weeks, adults live for 10 days.
Pesticides and even wetting agents and spreader-stickers may adversely affect survival.