V. Rosemeyer, T. Thielemans, V. Gosset, N. Dassonville
Viridaxis is a Belgian company which developed a new, plantless way of mass-rearing aphid parasitoids. Due to its innovative and unique technology, Viridaxis has been able to develop and produce one new parasitoid species every year.
A parasitoid is a wasp able to parasitize aphids in a host-specific way. These natural enemies of aphids are used in organic or integrated pest management strategies. In order to apply the matching parasitoid against a given aphid species, the latter one has to be (a) detected in the crop and (b) subsequently identified. By the time the aphids are spotted by the grower and then identified by himself or a specialized technician, it is usually too late for gaining control over an increasing aphid population.
Viridaxis developed a new concept of aphid control, based not on the species identified but on the crop treated. For each crop, the aphids expected are well known. What was needed was a product controlling the largest possible variety of aphid species expected in the crop. Starting with strawberries, Viridaxis studied the aphids attacking the cultures in various regions and over many years, and developed a unique cocktail of parasitoids species (FresaProtect) parasitizing and controlling all aphids.
FresaProtect contains six different species of natural aphid enemies, and is able to control all commonly appearing aphids attacking strawberries. The fact of mixing of not only different species, but also different ages of different mummies contributes to prolonged hatching. The ready-to-use units contain an integrated feeding point which contributes to longevity and efficiency of the parasitoids. Their application in the crop is much faster than even any chemical treatment.
Numerous field trial results and modeling of population dynamics data resulted in a protection scheme for junebearing strawberries in which only three releases assure constant presence of fresh parasitoid adults and hence continuous and reliable aphid control.
Rosemeyer, V., Thielemans, T., Gosset, V. and Dassonville, N. (2014). FRESAPROTECT CONTROLS STRAWBERRY APHIDS THROUGH CONSTANT PRESENCE OF COMPLEMENTARY PARASITOIDS . Acta Hortic. 1049, 635-646
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1049.98
natural aphid control, parasitoid cocktail, prolonged hatching, ready-to-use units

Acta Horticulturae