Bug Bites! Session 2: Aphidoletes and aphid parasitoids
February 9, 2021
- To be honest, and nothing that you're gonna be able to tell at a glance. So a little bit about them, and I'll go through this part quickly, 'cause I think most people are familiar with the concept of parasitic wasps, but they are indeed little wasps, not much difference in size than a common mosquito, a black head and thorax with a golden, usually golden amberish colored abdomen. This recurrent 'horse head' venation is something that is kind of seen here, but I have a better picture of it in the next slide, it's something that we use to identify them a lot of times if we find them on sticky cards. Almost any bug, and especially ones that can fly, like to beat themselves to death once they get caught in glue, so a lot of times you only have fragments to identify them with, this little venation in the wing is something that helps a lot. The eggs of all the juvenile stages are not visible, and that has everything to do with their life cycle. This is the only version of this one that you're really gonna see, except for when it's pupating and an aphid. It's the largest family of wasps. and a fun little fact about wasps, this whole order of Hymenoptera, which covers quite a few different insects, parasitoid wasps are the majority of wasps on Earth, so most wasps are about the size of a mosquito. So here's a better diagram, and I've always thought it looked kind of more like a dog, like a greyhound possibly, but this closed cell is distinct to these wasps, and it's very easy to make the distinction. A lot of times, growers who have a lot of fungus gnats will mistake fungus gnats for Aphidius on sticky cards, and this is always a helpful if we get they're mangled to the point that we can't identify them. So the larva only feed on aphids, and that's what this one's gonna be doing here soon, this that's being inserted here. The ovipositor, which I should have put on the last slide, 'cause it's a lot easier to see here, they do not have a sting, they have an ovipositor, this is for poking a hole in an aphid or if this were a different parasitoid wasp, whatever their host is, that pokes a hole so they can lay an egg in there. So, they lay a single egg in an aphid host, there's something that I think I'll cover later in here, but if not, I'll go ahead and say it now. One cool thing about colemani, and an ervi, for this matter, they're very selective with their hosts, it goes beyond just large and small. So what you'll see, I have an animation in the next slide. They have a little thing that they do with these super long antenna, and you have to watch it closely, I'll let the animation loop a couple of times so you can see it. When she is looking for a host, she comes up and gives a quick little one, two, three, four tap with their antenna all over the aphid's body. That's kind of her sizing it up, and then you'll see her sting and inject the egg. What they do a lot of times is they come up and they tap one that for whatever reason they don't like, it's too big, it's too small, or maybe it's not even the right species. And this isn't every time either but it's been observed a lot of times, they'll just start poking holes in them. So I always like to say there's a lot of murder in the BCA world, they sting without laying an egg. So, you end up getting controlled with these sometimes, when they're not even completing their lifecycle. But encapsulation is something that I just gonna cover real quickly because it's something that if anyone here, growers might, if you're familiar with greenhouse grower, you might even be familiar with this article, it's written by a very highly regarded, highly respected entomologist who I'm not gonna claim to know more than by any means. What I didn't like is I read this article when I was in the greenhouse, when I started using a lot of parasitoid wasps, and got me really scared, because what it talks about in the article is the minute that you read the title, it's kind of clickbait, "Why Biological Control Fails". So I was having struggling in some greenhouses and I thought, "Well, maybe this is why." Would encapsulation, as it's basically, a lot of these insect hosts to evolve to where they can encapsulate an egg inside of them, like your body does when it creates a boil around something and it suffocates it. But what this article even mentioned in the article, but way buried at the bottom, is that there's reasons why Aphidius and many other BCAs have been selected for mass production, and one of those is because this wasp has evolved around that. Aphidius wasps, not only are they inserting the egg, they also have a, it's a venom, so I guess technically there's a sting, but the venom that they put in disables, and it should go on to mention, which they don't mention in this article, not every aphid can even do that, it's only a certain species. But even if it were one of those species, it's not gonna happen, because they inject a venom to completely prevent it. So if you look, you can watch her, on this next one you see the tap with the antenna right before she curls her sting under. And it's just, it's really cool, because sometimes they come up and see that, and they're like, "Nope, you're not cool, but I'm not letting you hang around." So they still poke holes in them, accomplishing the job either way. So their life cycle, most are familiar, they lay the egg instead of a pupil case. When the larva has consumed all of the insides of the aphid, it uses its body as its pupil case, and that's where you find these brown swollen aphid mummies. Days later, you'll find them with a nice circular, and if you pay attention to that circular hole there that I'm gonna cover something involving that here shortly, that's how you know that it's working, that's how you know it completed its life cycle, a full-grown adult wasp came out. Oh yeah, I did put stings without depositing eggs there. The adults can lay a hundred eggs in a two week lifespan, but when you get into using these commercially, I cover later that the majority of this is laid in the first few days. The truth is, is she feeds on honeydew, which usually is found near aphids, which they're just designed to find and kill aphids and complete their life cycle right there. If she doesn't find honeydew, or nectar, or something to supplement that, almost right away, she will start reabsorbing those eggs, and those eggs are finally... So let's say if she's emerges with a hundred eggs, within a couple of three days if she hasn't found any aphids that's dropped off drastically, and those eggs aren't giving her everything she needs, she's gonna be hindered and you're just not gonna have the efficacy that you would see with an overlapped release. So just a little bit about, if you've actually purchase these, and most of you, if any of you have, you're familiar with it, but just this is how they're harvested and packaged. They do go into the bottles, and this is special packaging for some large customers that we handle, but usually they'll come in these little bottles in different quantities, I believe up to 5,000 in a bottle. They are harvested as aphid mummies off of the plants, so you get a bottle of a bunch of dead aphids in a carrier. Now, these are, we do advertise and sell them as live adults. They may be harvested and going as this, but most of them will be emerged when the time comes to get them. So I go a little bit into... Oh, okay. So when you're actually releasing them, even though the adults fly out a lot of times, and when I was filming this video, I just kind of took them out of the cooler. Within five minutes, I opened the lid and I was trying to let them get out. You wanna put them in the greenhouse, let them acclimate a little bit to the environment, I always compare it to when you get a new goldfish and you leave it in the bag of water or you put it in the fishbowl so it gets used to the temperature. Most times, they're in a hurry to get out of there. You will have some unemerged mummies in the bottom, so a lot of times you will leave the container in the crop or try to get as most, many amount as possible. But the good thing is, the good thing about any flying BCA, and if anybody's unfamiliar with that, it's just biological control agent, that's the fancy way of saying good bugs. Any flying BCA, your distribution is gonna be a lot easier than say predatory mites that have to go on every plant. So a little more about them in commercial settings and things, just some good info to have, to be aware of. The two initial release is one week apart, I kind of already covered that, but here's a graph that shows. This says daily mummy production which is another way of saying egg laying, because you can't produce a mummy with her laying an egg. So you see, this one started around 75 at day two, and there's huge drop-off, so what you wanna do is once you get your first release, you come in, ideally, you'd come in even sooner, but most people aren't gonna order bugs twice in a week, so you wanna come in as close to that one week period, to spike this backup so you have a steady even flow there. One thing to remember is that you don't always find these mummies. Of course, we always use photos with a bunch of mommies 'cause they're cool, but the truth is you're usually finding two or three at a time, and a lot of that has to do with just because you find you have a hanging basket that has 300 aphids in it and you you've... I have successfully controlled them, so for instance, if I had a hanging basket with 300, well, that would be very bad situation, dial it down to 50. If I had one with 50 aphids in it, I successfully push them back with colemani, I find five or six mummies in it, but I don't find any live aphids. The majority of aphids, once they've had that experience of an ovipositor puncturing them and putting an egg inside of them, they're pretty much done eating, and they're pretty much done hanging out there. So most times they will flee the site from where they were feeding and where they were infecting, usually seeking shelter, so a lot of times you're not gonna find the mummies, the important thing is you're not gonna find new aphids. 15% parasitization is considered enough for the collapse of the colony. So for instance, this photo, without this text box, there's 22 live aphids, and there's eight mummies, that's 36 parasitization, this looks like a problem, but if you found this on a plant, you could walk away from this, it's going to take care of itself, granted, if you are growing ornamentals, you can't have a bunch of exoskeletons and mummies all over it, that just to give you an idea of how they catch up to the population of the pest. One thing to keep in mind is if you do a lot of releases of parasitoids, and this is to go with most predators, and again, there's no always and there's no never in the world of pest management, but often times, increases of BCAs, whether it's a parasitoid or a predator, can cause aphids to start releasing alarm pheromones which will cause them to produce more alates, which are winged aphids, the fliers, which is... that's when it can become more of a challenge, when you have a lot of flyers in your colony and they're moving plant to plant, getting away from the threat. So, how am I on time? Okay, I just wanted to check my time real quick. So greenhouse rearing, this is what I'm gonna do instead of talking establishment, because one thing you have to keep in mind with an organism that literally needs aphids to complete its life cycle, the only way you're going establish it is with an abundance of aphids. So you can use this system of banker plants to keep them in the greenhouse a lot longer, but if you really wanted to establish them in your greenhouse without this, this is what your plants would have to look like, and nobody wants that. So it's an oat or barley grass plant, those are the two most common use. There's other ones, we actually, one of our other specialists, Sir Wu, who's gonna be doing presentation for you guys in a couple of weeks. When I worked with him, he was one of my customers, he was using corn as a banker plant, like some dwarf corn varieties. So people have experimented with a lot, but these are commercially available, the barley ones. And that's the two components, this grass plant and this aphid right here, which is Rhopalosiphum padi, Most commonly known as Bird cherry-Oat Aphid, and from here on I will just say BCOA. They are a globally distributed cosmopolitan aphid, they're found everywhere, and they only feed on monocots, that's one important thing to note. So that's good if you are growing dicots, because you can put one of these banker plants in your greenhouses. If you're growing a bunch of monocots, ornamental grasses, I found out the hard way about lilies, even some Palm crops, bananas and stuff that these can be pests on. But for most people growing mixed annuals, most vegetables, stuff like that, this is not a pest to them. It is a pest in 70 species of cereal crops, so that's what makes it an ideal host. So the way the banker plants work is that banker plant that I showed you with all that aphids in the little cube. You buy one of those, and when you get it, in the meantime, what you do, is you take four to eight flower pots, these are 12 inch containers, and I could not find a picture of this from my days in the greenhouse, so I had to simulate it. So you obtain, though I used oat, oat seed, again, you can use barley, I found barley did not have enough structure to the plant and it would get about three inches tall and just collapse on itself, I found out to be a much sturdier plan but it's kind of up to the grower and what performs best for them. But I would get them plant... I would seed the soil in a circle around the outside edge and into the middle, and then I would leave a hole in the middle, or sometimes I would just fill it in and put a four-inch pot there, so there was a nice little square hole left. And then when you get this banker plant, and this comes in a Rockwool cube that you can take a knife and cut it into sections. So I would cut that one plant into three or four plants, plant it in the middle here, with this seed around it. We would, oh! Put wires on the hanging baskets, and these are five-gallon paint strainers, they're like giant hair nets. What this is for, is as this seeded grass starts to grow in, and my banker plant arrives, I cut it, I put it in there, we cover it up. The reason we cover it up is we want this new grass to get infected with these aphids too, so now we have a giant banker plant versus this little cube that we bought, and now we have five of them, or six of them, however may I have in this photo, out of one instead of one. But the reason that you cover it is because these little, these parasitoid wasps, and especially Aphidius, but not all of them, but not all of them are Aphidius, there are aphid parasitoids everywhere, and you really don't want your aphids getting infected when you're trying to produce this huge amount. So this is actually a protection for the aphids in there. So what happens, once you get this full of aphids, I'd put at least 50% of the plant, sometimes I would let them go until the plant was in really bad shape, and that's when you uncover them, and you release the colemani directly into these bank for plants. And now, instead of this wasp emerging from that container and "Okay, I have to go find an aphid, I have to go find an aphid." She's introduced right into basically a miniature insectory, they quickly start hosting, and eventually what happens is you start getting a lot of mummies on these. And colemani, if they start seeing a ton of mummies around them, they don't see that as an abundance of hosts, so they start dispersing, but now you've turned that bottle of 500 or a thousand colemani, and it's multiplied 10 or 15 times. And then cool thing about this is you can have these in the greenhouse ready to go when you start planting your crop, if you're expecting early aphid pressure. You can move these around your greenhouses, especially, this was so convenient to have one on wires. We move the plants out of this greenhouse, I just move the banker plant right with it, have to do a soft spray in this greenhouse or whatever, we move the bank plants out, and it's old grass, it's a very cheap, very cheap thing to produce. It is a little time consuming, I would say the average shelf life on a banker plant, of a grass banker plant, depending on your pressure, because honestly, if you have higher aphid pressure in the crop, your banker plant is gonna last longer. If you have a good clean crop, they're gonna go through the aphids in the banker plant a lot faster. I was producing for a nursery. The nursery house at Oregon was approximately 700,000 square feet of connected and unconnected greenhouses. I was probably doing bio-control in two thirds of that. So for couple hundred thousand, 300,000 square feet worth of crop space to cover, I was producing probably about 25 of these banker plants a week. Now, I was overdoing it, they said you use two per acre, I was probably using nine, 10 per acre. So that has a bit to do with it too, but actually I got good at doing it, it wasn't that hard to do. So just a few things, you wanna hand water this and monitor it daily, and that's largely because, and I don't mean this to sound the wrong way, I just didn't trust the people who watered the crop to understand this, and that wasn't job. The few times it was hand watered, they saw plant with aphids on it, they took it outside, or they took the hose and blasted all the aphids off of it. But it's good to check on these daily, I don't care how big of a space you're covering, because you need to monitor them, for when it does become a majority of mummies, because at that point it's not helping you any. And one thing about these in cooler climates, I found this in Oregon quite bad, the broader oak leaf grass, or oak grass that I was using, the broader leaves on it, made it very prone to powdery mildew, and these became like little PM bombs in my greenhouses too. I did put should never be sprayed, but the reason I put an asterisk on 'never' is because when that actually started happening, I was able with all of all things, the old farmer's remedy of arm and hammer and water, that I would also assume that a product like MilStop since it's very similar to baking soda, very non impactful on most good bugs. Therefore, usually, what doesn't hurt a good bug doesn't hurt a bad bug. And you wanna end production of banker plants in July, and that is very important, that's not exactly the same time of year for all climates, but I feel safe saying that in Michigan, you would want to end by July, and that is because of the hyperparasite. Now, I say they're hyperparasite when really hyperparasitism is an entire class, it's same concept as a parasitoid, it technically is a parasitoid, except it hosts in parasitoids. So I always make the comparison to a Russian nesting doll. You have an aphid with an Aphidius larva inside of it. And I used Dentrocerus, or Dentrocerus, Dentrocerus, however you wanna pronounce it, I'm not an entomologist as you've probably figured out by now. This is the most commonly occurring one West of the Rockies, there is about four species of them, there's four species in the Willamette Valley alone. So once these show up, there's really no course, there's no saving your Aphidius banker, because you're not going to... The important thing is, technically, if an Aphidius stings an aphid, if an Aphidius oviposits in aphid, and then the hyperparasite oviposits in the Aphidius, that aphid still dies. So technically you still killed the aphid, but you want to kill the aphid and produce another adult Aphidius at the same time, obviously that doesn't happen here. So once the Aphidius die off, this one disappears too, because it doesn't have a host, now you have aphids. There are visual differences, to be frank, I've never seen one of these in person, so I would say, most commonly, the easiest way to find them is they complete their life cycle very similarly, and they exit out as full grown adults, same way as the colemani. But if you remember back to the slide where I pointed out how circular and how round that hole was, and these are really awful resolution photos, my apologies, but this was, I don't... I had to dig for a photo of a hyperparasite emergence. Aphidius, when they come out, it's almost a perfect circle, hopefully you guys can see my cursor, my mouse there. And oftentimes you'll even see a little flap kicked off to the side, it looks like a little, like the opening to a tank, whereas all hyperparasites that I'm familiar with, that I'm aware of, it's a very jagged, chewed out looking hole, I always kind of compared it like Porky pig busting out of the drum at the end, it looks like it really had a hard time getting out of here, whereas Aphidius looks like it just opened the hatch and came out. Once you start finding mummies in your crop with this, or especially on your banker plants, which is the easiest place to spot them, and that's usually the first place you're gonna find them. That's the end of the show for your banker system. That's when you want to stop using Aphidius all together, not just the banker plants, but Aphidius all together, because if there's Aphidius in the crop and a hyperparasite, it's as motivated to find them as Aphidius are to find their aphid host. So that's when you pull the Aphidius and you switch to other BCAs. Just real quickly, a little bit about their interaction with other BCAs. IGP is a term that a lot of people may or may not be familiar with, Intraguild Predation. It's another fancy term for when a good bug eats another good bug. Sometimes it means they're eating their own, and sometimes it means they're just eating another, sometimes it means they're eating another who has the same prey as them, or a different prey. A lot of IGP research, while it is very valid, and it's been proven, I, in my personal opinion, personal experience, it's not always exactly the same as what you're gonna encounter in full crop situation, full of pests, full of other food sources. If you put two bugs in a Petri dish, like Thunderdome, almost 100% of the time one of them is gonna kill the other one eventually. When they're out in a huge interconnected crop covering thousands of square feet, I don't think that they're as motivated to attack another predator, because a predator is a lot worse of a fight than a big fat aphid not minding its own business. So this kinda goes into the non-consumptive feeding disruption, this second bullet kinda goes into what I was talking about, where colemani and ervi, both, if they find an aphid they don't like, and they don't wanna use it as a host, they're not gonna let it walk away unscathed, most times they're still gonna puncture holes in it, which guess what? kills it. More importantly, it immediately makes it stop feeding, because they have bigger priorities now. They do work well together, they're sold as a mix, and most times we actually suggest growers to use the mix because oftentimes growers don't know which aphid species they have, or if you're growing a lot of different crops, if you're growing a lot of veggies or mixed annuals, you probably have two or three aphid species at a time. Aphidoletes which Erik is gonna cover next, and Chrysoperla, the lacewing larva. They can sometimes impede the establishment of them, and the main reason is because both of them are after aphids as well. And neither of them really stop to pay much attention to whether or not it is a live aphid or a mummified aphid. I still, having said that, to go back to what I said about my thoughts on IGP, there was never a crop that I didn't use all of these in. I may not have been using, releasing them at the exact same time, it may have been at different stages in the crop, but there were many times I had crossover on things that are supposedly bad news. So that's something to keep in mind with all of this stuff, that none of it applies to every single situation, but I believe that's it for mine, and I'm sorry, I did not have my timer running, so I don't know if I ran over or not, I don't know. - [Jeremy] I think you're pretty good Kelly. - I'm gonna go ahead and kill that. So I don't know if I do go over the questions first, Jeremy, or- - [Jeremy] I think- - Or are we gonna do it after Erik? - I think we should wait till after Erik, in this case. - [Kelly] Okay. - [Erik] Easy enough, and let us begin. So like Kelly was saying too, I'll just kind of jump off from what he was talking about as well. In a lot of those studies with IGP, there's even little stipulations at the end, they kinda say, "Even though we notice this in a field setting, we expect things to be a little bit different." Because of all these different variables that are going on in the field, different food sources, different levels within the canopy, things like that, as opposed to just sticking things in a Petri dish and letting them duke it out. So that being said, in regards to Aphidoletes, I have quite a bit of experience with Aphidoletes in greenhouse management, or in IPM management, or IPM. Specifically for aphids, I would use them in almost every crop that I was anticipating getting aphids in, as well as lacewing as well, just because of a couple of reasons that we'll get into further along. So, this is just a basic description, I think it's really interesting that they're grouped together with a lot of insects that are considered pests in general, some gall gnats and gall midges, they are technically midges. One really easy way to identify them is based off of their long hairy antennae. It's kind of difficult to ID them out in the field because they do look a lot like fungus gnats. So unless you're taking really, are making really close attention, or scouting really closely, it's kinda difficult to catch them in the field. Another really interesting fact about them is that their eggs and their larvae are this bright orange color, it's really easy to see in the crop, it's a pretty good exposition between the leaf surface pest and the predator. Typically, you're not gonna find them pupating because they do that in the soil, so I couldn't get a good picture of of that as well for you guys to see. So again, this is just a little bit more about their biology. One thing that I'd like for people to focus on is really where their larvae, or when they're larvae, it's kind of like, well, aside from their egg. Obviously, when they're in their egg stage, it's the shortest stage, and that's really the only time that they're gonna be feeding on the aphids. So you kind of leave yourself susceptible because they have the same tendency as the Aphidius, where they lay a majority of their eggs within the first couple of days after they breed. Typically, sex population ratios are one-to-one because they are not like the Aphidius, they do have to mate before they go and lay their eggs. A lot of their life cycle, and the timing of their life cycle, is dependent on the temperature. So as you get outside of the 65 to 75 degree window, those developmental times begin to increase. So when you're in an outdoor setting, especially in somewhere like Michigan where I imagine it gets pretty cool in the evening, that can shift that window, which is going to take development time a little bit longer. So I apologize for the graininess of the picture on the left, but it's a really easy way to see the difference between the antennae length between the males and the females. So the males typically have a longer antenna compared to the females. In that picture, it looks almost like it's twice as long. This is more so going into specifically how they do their thing. So really what's interesting about them is that the adults are going to be honed into the honeydew, because they rely on nectar and honeydew. So after they mate, the females are going to go near aphid colonies, and they will lay, well, it depends, depending on the aphid colony size and the distribution of the colonies throughout a crop, they could be laying clusters or single eggs in order to combat that colony. So it takes a lot of the guesswork out for you, you just kind of let them do their own thing. I have a video of it in the next slide here, and how they hunt. But essentially what they do is they grab onto the kneecap of the aphid, they inject a venom into it which paralyzes it, and then they take a couple big deep sips. Their overwintering is in their pupal stage which is going to be again in the soil. So most often, people in greenhouse settings are gonna be doing some kind of drench in the off season to keep an overwintering crop around, which can significantly hinder your native population that you've created within the greenhouse, if you keep those life cycles going on. So let's see here, yep. So we'll just let this play out for a little while, I believe it's like a two minute video, you can kinda see its internal organs moving around in there and it's mouth kind of grasping the leg there. At one point, yeah, you can kinda see the mouth protruding out there. And it's not a quick process by any means, I have multiple of these videos from the same occurrence and it took a while. (laughs) But they kinda eat a fair amount of aphids, we'll get into it a little bit further. But they don't need, they really only need a minimal amount of aphids in order to complete their life cycle, they can eat more than... they can eat more than they need in order to begin pupating, it's all based on the colony dynamic of the aphids. This is, oh, damn, it's only halfway. Yeah, well, you guys get the point, pretty much, this is kinda what they do. So Aphidoletes, one of the really good things that I was using them primarily for was I had, the place that I was working at had 18 acres of covered greenhouses, and I was running bio-control similar to Kelly, in around two thirds to three quarters of that facility. And so with that many crops and everything on different cycles, I didn't really have time to be like, "Okay, this greenhouse is going get this specific cocktail." I kinda just wanted something that was a little bit more wide-reaching. So I was looking for more generalists, a lot of flyers, which obviously Aphidoletes are. But one of the really nice things is that they have a really wide host range, so you don't necessarily have to do a lot of that guesswork. If you have multiple crops in the same greenhouse as Kelly was kind of talking about, how you can use the colemani and the ervi based on if you have a larger or smaller aphid, these guys are pretty much gonna be going after most of the common aphids that you're gonna be finding in most greenhouse settings. They're really good at searching out their prey, and distributing themselves out, which I've kind of already talked about. In terms of actual release methods, it's actually pretty easy, I don't have a video of it like Kelly. This is the product that we sell, on the left here in a bottle, and so essentially you just go around and make little breeder piles. The newly emerging adults come out, breed, and then they distribute themselves throughout the greenhouse. There are a couple other release methods as well. One of the primary reasons I was using Aphidoletes over Aphidius was because we were growing a lot of premium color annuals, and we did not want to wanna have mummies on those. And granted we still had husks and sucked dry aphids, but the mummies were a little bit, it kinda catches your eye, and it takes a little extra couple of steps to explain it that we weren't really willing to do on the customer side of things. So they work really well in conjunction with some softer chemistry, so I really liked them in herbs and other edibles, because really the harshest thing you can spray in those crops is an insecticidal soap, or an oil maybe, and while that's gonna affect them, it's not the same as trying to spray something that you could on an annual, like a middle croplete or whatnot, that's gonna significantly affect those Aphidoletes populations, as well as just biological populations in general. In herbs specifically, I was concerned about thrips damage on some of those crops as well, so that's what I was talking about with other predators. I was releasing cucumeris in there, alongside the Aphidoletes, to get after my two pests in there. And as with most bio-control agents, they're used preventatively in most cases. So we're gonna touch on IGP a little bit as well. This picture on the right, I pulled from the same block of plants, it's actually the same plant at different levels of... different levels of the plant. So you can see this lacewing here on the left, and it has a colony that it is pretty much cleaned up, looks like there's one or two aphids on that leaf as well, and then on the right there's two Aphidoletes there, as well as a pretty substantial colony. Do I think that the lacewing could have crawled up into the plant and go after that colony? Yeah, no, it could easily, it might, it very well could easily kill though, and eat those Aphidoletes, those two Aphidoletes larvae on those leaves as well. Is it gonna systematically go after only colonies that Aphidoletes are present at and just wipe them out? Not likely, no, they're not gonna just completely hyper-target, they're not gonna hyper-target the Aphidoletes colony, at least that wasn't my experience with it. I actually also got volunteer parasitoids coming in when I was using lacewing and Aphidoletes. And I had Orius bankers as well, so I had Orius that was eating some Purple Flash Pepper, those Purple Flash Pepper got a ton of aphids on them, and then some nice little Aphidoletes volunteers came in from a bordering field. So they all can, and I was seeing mummies outside of those bankers as well, so they all can play nicely with each other, it just all has to do with pest dynamic within the greenhouse and that kind of a situation. So as I was talking, I touched on this as well, I won't belabor this point, but because of their larval stage being the only one that's gonna be targeting the aphids, you are missing out on... you're essentially leaving yourself open for around two weeks while the other processes go on, which means that you're most likely gonna be relying on weekly or biweekly releases of Aphidoletes in order to replenish populations. They can be relatively sensitive to sprays, and in greenhouse settings, herbicides, and, well, not really herbicides, fungicides. Fungicides can decrease, well, in certain fungicides that can be a little bit nastier obviously, like Kelly was saying, you can select certain fungicides that play nicer with the predators, but a lot of the time you have these chemistries that are available to you in an ornamental setting, because you're having edible plants that you can use a little bit punchy or chemical that will last four to six weeks. So you don't have to do as many applications, without one application could negatively affect the populations, so it is something just to be aware of. One other thing is, I didn't talk about it earlier, but they do need around 12 hours of light in order to complete their life cycle. You can kind of mitigate this by using incandescent light bulbs every so often throughout the crop. It honestly depends on the crop though, because there are certain crops that you want a less light cycle, or a lesser light cycle, in order to establish flower set or some other kind of process within the plant. In those cases, I got talked to for putting light bulbs in those greenhouses. So it is something that you need to work with the growers if you are on, if you're the IPM person, it's nice to work with the growers and giving them a heads up and letting them know that you might be putting some light bulbs in their crop, or asking them if you have supplemental lighting in your greenhouses in order to increase those windows for supplemental lighting. So yeah, just a real quick summary. They're easy to plug in because they have such a wide host range. I use them predominantly in, or I like to use them predominantly in things like peppers, or other vegetable crops that had a little bit more of an economic threshold associated with them. So most people are looking for flower set on peppers, or fruit set, excuse me, on peppers. So you can get away with a little bit of foliar damage. So in that case, you might not need to completely bombard that specific crop with bios or chemicals. You can kinda taper it up as the pest go, or as the pest pressure increases, If that's one way you're... If that's the plan that you want. There are certain, especially for shorter term crops that that have higher turnaround, like peppers or tomatoes or something like that, where you're trying to limit the inputs that are going in, that's one easy strategy to do it, it's just put some Aphidoletes out there, they're gonna harass and keep the aphid populations at bay, maybe get you to a week or two before sales, hit it with a quick spray before it goes out, or just hammer it with some lacewing larvae or increased levels of Aphidoletes. So because of their ability to fly, they're actually really good for distribution, or distributing themselves. Kelly touched on this point where you have to get every plant hit with predatory mites, or like in the cases of these baskets in these pictures here, it's a lot harder to sprinkle eggs or mites on every single basket, especially in the picture on the left, 'cause they're so high up and not touching, flyers are gonna be a lot easier to get into those areas and into those harder to reach spaces within the greenhouses. I say that Aphidoletes' second-generation is difficult to rely on for prevention. Just because of that extended life cycle, I still was finding some here and there that I assumed was a second-generation after I stopped doing releases, but I wasn't relying on them because there wasn't really a way for me to calculate how many were present and what they were really doing. So I just relied on more consistent releases and keeping their populations a little bit higher. Even with the breeder boxes or love shacks, I had tried that method, I didn't get, I got kind of mixed results, I pretty much got the same results as if I was just releasing them in the greenhouse. I attributed that also to the lack of sprays that I was doing in the greenhouse, I assume that there was a higher amount of spiders in the area, which the Aphidoletes like to use the spider webs to mate on. So that was the purpose of the breeder boxes, was to make a pseudo spider nest for the Aphidoletes to go to and mate on. But it's almost like a little bit too much effort, I wasn't really getting the greatest results, I'm sure Kelly could speak on it as well, but we don't really need to hammer that point unless someone has a specific question on it. These are just my photo credits. And then, yeah, any questions? We can open it up to that. - Oh yes, we've got quite a few questions for sure. One moment. - Yeah, no worries. - All right, thank you. Thank you very much guys. We've got a little bit of housekeeping before we get into the Q and A. First this session is being recorded, although I forgot to hit the record button at first, so we cut a little bit out at the beginning of Kelly's, and I do apologize for that, as a brain failure there. We'll send out an email with a video link to all the registered participants when it becomes available. Second, your feedback is extremely important to us, it is definitely what helps guide our efforts to develop interesting and relevant programs for the benefit of the flow culture and the greenhouse industries. It's one of the reasons why we're talking about this specific topic today. So when you leave the seminar, you will be automatically directed to a a two minute survey, it doesn't take much time at all, and the results are really quite meaningful to both us and our guest speakers, and we sincerely appreciate you spending a few moments to share your thoughts with us. Okay, guys, we do have quite a few questions, are you ready to go? - Sure, I'll help. - [Jeremy] Go ahead. Oh, fire away, all right, hold on, one second, I'm gonna go right back to the top. Okay, so, Kelly, someone had asked about if we had any papers that discuss the host feeding activity of parasitoids, and I had suggested to him that many of these research papers, there's a lot of research that's on it but they're often behind paywalls, but if you have any resources, do you think you could make that available to our participants? - Yeah, I can look at the source material that I used for this. And we fall into that too, that a lot of times we're stuck reading the abstract on the preview because you can't access the full paper, but we do have a caveat access here, which allows us to get our hands on some other stuff. And I saw your response in the chat, and I feel the same way that some things, if it's behind a paywall, it should be, the pool should be observed. Also a little bit of a, if I have the information, I'm gonna get it to you one way or the other, and it looks better if I give you the published paper than if I just say it as a guy who in many people's eyes, I just sell bugs for a living. So I'll tell you whatever you need to hear, but the truth is we base it off of stuff that we have access to. So yeah, I made a note here that if you get any additional questions on specific things at any time, if I have access to it, you can shoot me a message. But I will look at that, I believe the question was at specifically about the the disruptive, the stinging without laying an egg. - Yep, he calls it superfluous feeding, I'm assuming he meant host feeding, so it's an interesting behavior. Okay, here's the next question, 15% of parasitization equals a collapse of an aphid colony, so what is the maximum parasitization level to maintain Aphidius populations in the crop? - To maintain it in the crop? - [Jeremy] Yes. - The simple answer is if 15% crashes it, that crashes the aphid population, not the Aphidius population, and that's what you want. To sustain the Aphidius population in the crop, then you're gonna have to be sustaining up to 90% of your aphid population, which kinda goes against the whole idea. So let's say if you're trying to establish, the question was to maintain an Aphidius population. - Yeah. - [Kelly] When the aphid colony crashes, the Aphidius colony crashes right alongside of it, 'cause they have no hosts, it's like what I always say with persimilis and spider mites, the drop-off graph, you can't differentiate the two lines, that's what they eat, so when their food disappears, they disappear. So I would assume if 15%, I don't really know if that number has been officially established, but if 15% collapses it, then we could assume that below that, you're gonna... If your aphid colony is alive, your Aphidius colony is alive. So I'm sorry if that's not exactly the best answer, but the only way you're really gonna keep Aphidius in a crop setting without having an unhealthy infested crop is with using the banker plant system. - Right. Something similar to this, how well do extra-floral resources help in maintaining parasitoid populations? - They do help, I had something I used to talk about, I almost put it in this talk, but it's kind of this was focused mostly on greenhouse, which this isn't, it's not that it doesn't apply to greenhouse, it's just, I've seen it be a lot more effective in outdoor settings, but there are a lot of plants that have extra floral nectaries. When I first started learning that the Aphidius adults feed on, that nectar can supplement the honeydew, I was looking at ways to increase their life cycle, 'cause as I discussed about them, reabsorbing their own eggs, if we could prevent that by giving them some sort of a supplemental food. Initially, it looked in at a globe thistle and a few other plants that are heavy nectar producers, but you have to grow the plant until it flowers. Whereas you can get nectar sources from a lot of plants through extra floral nectaries, I've seen that in what they call insectory, or feeder plantings in outdoor settings. And yeah, you find that maybe not, I don't know for sure Aphidius, because I'm not pinning them and ID'ing them, but you definitely find a lot of parasitoids around. So anytime that she can get a meal besides absorbing her own egg, it gives her however much longer. Now, granted you can, that's gonna get her by a little bit, but she still needs aphids, and eventually, if she's not laying those eggs, she will reabsorb them, she's not just going to shoot them out and then die, she will reabsorb them in either way. So it's kind of like a, it's a bandaid, but it definitely can help. And it attracts adults in too, 'cause after that aphid colony crashes, the adults that have nowhere to host, they're not just gonna lay down and die, they can fly, and they go seeking out other crops, and when they sense a nectar source, they stop for a meal. So if that nectar source is near your aphid-infected crop, it increases your chances too. So that's why I feel like it's more applicable in an outdoor setting than a greenhouse setting, but in large interconnected ranges, I've seen in secretary plantings in large greenhouses, most of our customers are not in a position to really implement that though. - Yeah, shrimp crop cycles and such. - Right. - Okay, I wanna acknowledge really quick that it is two o'clock, and we still have a bunch of questions to answer. I plan on continuing this, it will be recorded. So if people need to leave, we definitely understand, but we'll keep this going. So there's a follow-up question to that, and I think we can probably get this in a one-word answer. So can the Aphidius population collapse if too many aphids are parasitized. - Yes. - Yeah. - Yeah, that's the goal though. Your goal is to parasitize all of them. - And that is success. - Yeah, and that's why I try to win people away from the thought of establishment, because what that puts in a lot of people's mind is, where BCAs are established is out in the wild, where it's not cultivated crops, you haven't cleared out all the native vegetation to put this in here. And you're growing most cases, even if it's not an ornamental crop, like Eric said, peppers have a higher threshold and stuff, you still want to keep that population low, and you want your predators starving to death because they have no pests, or how you want your parasitoids leaving because they don't have any hosts, that's the end goal. So the sooner you get there, the sooner you crash your Aphidius population for any reason other than the hyperparasite that we discussed. If your Aphidius population crashes, it's because your aphid population crashed, so that's ideal. - Sounds great, I have another, I have another question here on hyperparasites. I do have a lot of these hyperparasitoids that I do find on sticky card every so often, does that mean I have a mummified aphid colony somewhere in my crop? - Should, if you're certain of the idea of the hyperparasite. Another thing to remember, I will just say this, there is a mummy somewhere, it may not be an aphid, cause there are parasitoid wasps that parasitize leaf miner, that parasitize mealybugs, that parasitize stink bugs. A lot of them parasitize eggs, like the samurai wasp, that parasitizes the stink bug egg, Trichogramma is a wasp that we sell that parasitizes moth eggs. So, for almost every paris hyper, sorry, for almost every parasitoid, there is a hyperparasite. Now, there are a lot of wasps that are neither, that look very similar to, so those photos I shared of the hyperparasites, the Dendrocerus, that's just one of many, just like Aphidius are just one of many. But if you know, if you're having an ID, or you're fairly certain that it's a hyperparasite, you have something mummified in your crop. I would say what I most commonly incur, because I'm a bug nerd, and if my wife and I are at the mall, I'm out front looking in the, you know, I used to do landscape pest management, so I've got my loop in my pocket, and flip it over leaves, I encounter aphid mummies more than anything else, just out and about. So if you have a random hyperparasite showing up, I'd say it's highly likely it's an aphid mummy, could be a mealybugs, could be a scale, could be leaf miner, all kinds of things. - I would add briefly that I think there are some parasitoids that go after fungus gnats and shore flies too, so that may be something you find in there. - Yeah. - Okay, what temperature do colemani and ervi diapause at? Could I use them in a cooler areas? Will they be just as active? - So, they're not gonna be as active the cooler the temperature gets, and that's pretty much the case with any of these. Most BCAs, if you look them up, they have like a high-low preference that they like, and usually it's more than just temperature that's gonna be involved. It's like Erik discussed with the photo period with Aphidoletes. Though, the average, I believe, is 12 Celsius, which I think comes out to like 52, 53 Fahrenheit, so that is that's the absolute low, and that is where they're going to start being inactive. Now, that is also... That has to do with more than just that temperature, that is also, the studies that those are based off of, those were done during short days and cooler climate. So, obviously, supplemental lighting can help, because it usually comes down to those two things, not just temperature, you have temperature and day length. but as Erik discussed, depends if you're growing poinsettias and you want the black thing, they want a blackout period, cannabis growers have to black their crop out for the flowering cycle. So if the crop doesn't want extra light, you don't wanna, I've always said, don't do anything harmful to your crop to just to keep your good bugs alive. But I would say, just to be safe, I would say if you're getting down 55, and another important part of it is if it is sustained. If you have dips in your in your greenhouse temperatures, it happens, our poinsettia crop every year, at least one heater would go out, and you come in in the morning and there's a treatise, cause it got down in the forties in your greenhouse. Now, my BCAs didn't die, because they were exposed to those temperatures for five or six hours. It's when your day is not getting above that temperature, and you're not 12 hours of sunlight, you're gonna see a drop off, but you should see a drop off in your aphids as well. If you don't, that's when you start looking at other BCA solutions for it, and that's why we have so many different bugs that we sell. - Okay, do Aphidius differentiate parasitized aphids from non parasitized? - Yes, because they don't wanna host in an aphid that already has an egg in it. They're very, that's why like, with the little double tap with antenna, they're very careful, they don't want to waste that egg, they wanna make sure it's a good host, and it's a available host that has not already been infected. - I've got a few more, and then we're gonna move on to Aphidoletes. So, going back to over-producing banker plants, you said that you you would actually put them more in more concentrated areas, do you think that was more effective at controlling those aphid populations? - I don't know, I honestly, I can't say one way or the other, because it became very easy for me to do, and I had an assistant who worked under me that was, he really showed an interest in producing those banker plants, so he would produce them even when I wasn't asking him to. So I would pitch them occasionally, we started putting them in our retail area of the nursery and teaching our customers about them. And that caught on, but to be honest, I don't know that I had... that I ever did the small amount of them, I think I was always kind of swinging for the fences with it, I found it very effective. I would say that I do know the research that was done on that rate, that's established two per acre, that was done many years ago in, I wanna say, vegetables. So that's something to keep in mind to, again, not to beat it to death, but as Erik stated, there's different tolerances, there's different thresholds for pressure. So what may have been acceptable in a greenhouse full of cucumbers, if you're growing Verbena, or something that has zero tolerance, or ornamental crop, you're gonna wanna go higher, and I just kind of got married to that. And one important thing is there's no such thing as overkill with bio control. There's no, "I burned the crop because I put too many mites out there." You can waste money doing it, but there's no harmful impact to, unless you're dumping out once they have very noticeable IGP issues on top of each other, but beyond that, you're not gonna hurt anything by going over the top. And with that system of taking the one banker and turning it into many, it didn't cost me any more to do that, to put seven, eight, nine, 10 per acre instead of two. So I think they're effective at that rate, I've definitely, we work in customers who do far less than what I had in my houses, and it makes me think maybe I didn't need all of them but I had them. - And if it doesn't cost any more then it seems like a good idea. - There's a little bit more labor, a little bit more work, but that's my job. - Okay, so I think now we're moving into the Aphidoletes here. So, will Aphidoletes overwinter in Michigan and in an outdoor setting? - Oh. - Good question. - Yeah, I would imagine not. - They will. - Oh, they will? - I don't wanna jump on your, I don't wanna jump on your answer, but they will overwinter because the Aphidoletes are native to all 50 US States. - Oh, I just didn't know, based on how cold it gets there, like all- - Yeah, most of Canada too, they're native, and so you're definitely gonna see that drop off when you get to 52, 53, but they will return the following year. - And they, they diapause in the pupal state, right? - Yes. - Okay. all right. - Yeah, unfortunately. - Good question, and that's why you have a team too, right? So if someone doesn't know someone else might. - I was surprised too, because Aphidoletes are kinda sensitive, and- - Yeah, that was my expectation (chuckles). - They seem fragile the minute... They can overwinter in Canada, in Canadian winters, upper that I think. - Yup, so here's another tactical question, what is the average production capacity of an Aphidoletes larva? - Yeah, so like I was saying, it kinda depends, based on the aphid colony, and also kinda like the density of their egg clusters. Really, they only need eight, seven, I think one study I read was saying that they could get to pupating on seven aphids, is it on seven or either aphids, so a really small amount, but they can eat up to like 50 to 60. - Yeah, it's 50 a day. - Yeah, 50 a day. - There was a study done where, and I don't know if they ate them all, because like what I said with the colemani about their a lot of murder in the bio world, I actually have a video that if I would've done the Aphidoletes talk, I was gonna use where it was an Aphidoletes that got into a melon aphid colony, and about half of them looked like, I always say, like a used CAPRISA and all sucked out and watered up, and the other half are mangled to death, because they will just kill when they're not full. Now, I know that that was the high number, they were able to get one to kill 50 Aphidius in a day. But in that study, it played out to where I believe, during the larval state, which is one week, it killed, I think, in the neck of like 120, 150, but that's very impressive in my opinion (chuckles). - Yep, so it sounds like it's pretty common for them to kill extra aphids in general. - Oh yeah. - Okay. - Yeah. - All right. Are there certain times of the year, for example in the spring time in Michigan, where you would see more aphids in a greenhouse setting rather than other time of the year seasonally? Fall, summer, et cetera. I feel as though late fall and early spring, I get small pest explosions. - You go ahead. - I answered that a little bit, yeah. So actually aphids do tend to show up a little right in April, that's when they really start to explode. They've been there for a little while, cause they usually come in on cutting or what have you, or maybe they're overwintered on weeds, but that's when they usually do. It varies, depends on what kind of crop you're growing in the summer too, but we usually start seeing them June-ish, June, July in small numbers and mums and other things like that, and if you don't take care of them then, that's when they start to explode because it's warm and it increases their reproduction capacity, everything moves faster. - Yeah, and one thing, using mums as an example, I had a window for mums, I was trying to get them to the point that we could drench an insecticide on them so that they would go out to sales completely clean. So I knew what kind of window I was working with, and I knew that exactly they're gonna come in with a couple of aphids on there, and so I worked with the grower, figured out when she was going into specific greenhouses, figured out how many Aphidoletes I wanted into each greenhouse, began to ramp it up as those greenhouses began filling out in order to have a low to moderate level of Aphidoletes present. And then once I saw pressures increasing, we either knock them, depending on how close we were to a drench window, either hit him with a spray, or coming back over the top with some lacewing larvae, or just increasing it and bombing them with Aphidoletes. - How well do lacewing larvae deal with pesticide residues on the leaf? - Depends on the pesticide, honestly, like in greenhouses because there's so many chemicals that are available to people. I don't really like to (laughs) give a solid answer to that. In certain crops where you're more restricted, like edibles and stuff like that, most of the sprays are not gonna be too intrusive on the lacewing, just because they're a little bit larger. Things like suffocants don't really tend to mess with them too much because they are a little bit larger, at least from what I've seen. - So you're talking like oils and soaps. Okay, all right. So really simple question, can you be successful, I'm assuming with parasitoids, without adding banker plants? - Absolutely, yeah. It just might be a little bit more... You might have to order a little bit more. I originally got into it as way to save money, because that I can get them producing themselves, I can put that money towards other things. Just a little history, I moved out to the West coast in 2011, and I started at this greenhouse in Oregon that had been on about 40 years of conventional pest management. So I was on uphill battle to expand my bio program, every time I wanted to move it into another greenhouse. And I say uphill battle, but it's not like they've fought me tooth and nail, it was just, I had to prove to them that this worked, and I was given kind of a meet your budget, my chemical budget was much larger. So what I wanted to play with it and stretch it as far as I could and show efficacy. But having said that, yeah, the majority of our customers don't do banker plants. I would say we work with tons of cannabis growers that are indoors, and banker plants, in my experience, I've yet to see it really work out in an indoor grow, I'm not saying that it's not possible, I've just not met anyone successfully implementing it on a large scale, but they're using Aphidius and they're successfully controlling their aphids, so yeah, the bankers are a supplement to that. - Is there a reason why you haven't seen a successful banker plant implementation indoors? - I don't know. Honestly, if I had to make a guess, I would say that with the cost associated with indoor cultivation, what I usually see in, you know, it's usually gonna be a hydroponic lettuce or cannabis, historically with the customers we work with. Both of those scenarios, it's a lot costly a production, and they want to utilize every square inch for the crop that they're selling. And I think that that's kind of part of it, there's a little bit of a pushback against, "Well, why am I gonna dedicate space to this thing?" It probably, honestly, Erik you can weigh in. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work, I just don't see anybody implementing it on a grand scale enough to have an opinion. - Yeah, I've had people who, I call it pseudo greenhouse, or pseudo indoor, where it's like they're tricking out their greenhouse. And I see people with relative success with that, they almost use, it's almost like a planter, like they'll have like a 12 inch planter, and have a couple of different varieties of plants in there for some potential aphids to kind of, kind of what I was alluding to, where once you have more varieties, you can have different types of aphids coming in at different times of the year, and then you can kind of sustain them that way a little bit better, not necessarily just trying to focus on one specific one. That has been something that one of my customers has been trying to dial in, and he isn't claiming that he's figured it out or anything like that, but he has seen that he's got some crossover from it, he's seen that the Aphidius are at least interested in what he's doing. But again, not in a true indoor setting, completely sealed rooms and stuff like that. - Hey, yeah, there were a couple of terms I wanted to go back to a little bit. I was wondering if you could elaborate a little bit on what a breeder pile for Aphidoletes would be, or what that looks like. - Oh yeah, sorry, it's kinda. - It's okay. (Erik laughs) - There are instructions that come in the bottle with it. It's essentially, you just kind of take the bottle, and I would go around to, cause I had banker plants in there, so I was kinda, I was similar to Kelly, I had them kind of spread out all over the place, and I was hand watering them, so I knew when they were getting watered and stuff like that, and I knew where I was placing the grader piles, and essentially just make like a little mound. - A little mound of the carrier and the- - yeah. - Okay. - Something real quick before we move on that I'd like to mention, I just noticed in the chat. Suzanne, the bug lady is among us and she pointed out that in cannabis, some States don't allow banker plants in the crop. So that's something to keep in mind to maybe why we don't encounter it as often. So, and personally we do have one rep who will be joining Sir Wu for our next thing, Greg, who works with a lot of hydroponic lettuce growers, he might have more insight on it, even though that's not their topic of discussion, he could have more insight onto it, but that could be why too as well, that I guess they only want them growing that crop within that crop. - Interesting. Okay, I wanna get a couple more questions here. Is there a way to collect the Aphidius once the aphid colony seems to be on the decline and re-establish another Aphidius population in another location? - Certainly, the easiest way would be with a banker plant, honestly, because it's right there, it's mobile. If you're talking about going out into the crop and finding the mummies. In my experience, most of the time, most of the time, I find mummies that already have exit holes. So obviously if it's already completed the life cycle, it's gonna be no good to move it's discarded pupal case along with you. I would just venture a guess that the amount of time that would go into that would make it not worth the effort, because keep in mind what I said earlier too, about their tendency to flee where they were infected, so most of them get stung and you don't see them again, you don't even find the mummy. Now, there's other cases, I had a photo I was gonna use in this talk but it was too low resolution of them, it was actually a pepper banker plant that had gotten so infested with melonies that I just took it and I dropped it in between like 10 or 12 bankers that were kinda getting near there, or grass bankers that were getting near the end of their lifespan. And it got every aphid on that plant. - Yes. - So the plant, it's like a hundred percent parasitization. Now, granted, if I was selling this plant, it'd be worthless because it's covered in brown mommies. Now, if I wanted to really take my time and go through that, I probably could have gotten 50, 60 viable mummies to then move elsewhere, but they're like, I don't know, the price is off the top of my head, but the bottle of 500 of them is pretty inexpensive, I just find it would most likely, in most scenarios, for somebody in a commercial setting, it's gonna be wasted effort to go out and try and harvest them out of the crop. Banker plants take care of that problem. When you see that this crop is clean, and your banker is still viable, there's no reason you can't move that to the next greenhouse where there is a problem. - Love it. Erik, you specified incandescent light bulbs for increasing the photo period for Aphidoletes, is there a reason why you talked about that? - Oh, no, that was just the one that I had used. - Okay. I'm sure if I looked into it, they probably have specific light bulbs, or like a specific spectrum of light bulbs that you'd wanna like side with, I don't have that on me, that was just purely from me kinda regurgitating the experience that I have with them. - No, all right, I was making sure that there wasn't like a wavelength. - Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. Yeah, not that I'm aware of, it there very well could be, but I'm not aware of it. - I think that's when you get into Orius and artificial lighting for Orius. I think that there's all kinds of factors to do with the different types of lighting on that, and there's different opinions on that as well. - Yeah, okay. All right, one more question, so do Aphidoletes predate on aphid mummies? - Occasionally, yes, so do lacewing larva. I don't know this a hundred percent, but I will say that I don't think they feed on them once they've turned brown and leathery and fat-swollen aphid mummies, let's just say more obvious. Early aphid mummy sometimes starts out as just the very slight discoloration, and at a glance, you might not think that aphid's been infected. I do know, I've actually seen a photo of a lacewing larva feeding on a partially mummified aphid. Now, again, that aphid is still dead, but it's not exactly what you want to happen ideally either. So I would say, yeah, while it does happen, one thing that actually, and I'm glad that this came up, so I get a chance to throw this in here, Erik and I were talking yesterday, just kinda having a little discussion about the talk we're giving today. And we kinda knew that IGP is kinda unavoidable, especially with an educated group that's aware of this stuff. One thing to note, and again, there's no always, there's no never, most of the studies that I personally have read regarding IGP of almost any combination of BCAs, except for a few no-brainers, there's some that use just don't use those together. But there's some that it's like there's an advisory to not use those together. And then you read the study and it shows how this one aided that one and then impacted this one's life cycle. But they usually towards the end, somewhere buried in there, they point out that, it'll say, a throw, what feels like a throwaway line, but the line will be, "Although more effective aphid control was achieved by using both, they found the impact of one on the other to be..." And I'm a big believer, after 20 years of pest management, I'm a big believer in, "It all came out in the wash." I really personally don't form a personal attachment with any of these bugs, and if one's killing the other, and at the end of the day they accomplish, that is they both killed more, I'm happy with that. - Okay. - I can tolerate some friendly fire. - And so if then that game was much greater than any single one of them together or by itself. - And of course, again, that's not always, I don't want it to say like, "Don't, don't, ignore all the fire." - Right (laughs) - Don't just say, "There's an advisory which said, 'Well, I can't use that, and I can't use that.'" 'Cause eventually you're gonna say, "Well, I can't use anything." And, "Let me bust out my mask and my spray, and go spray synthetics." That's definitely not, that's definitely should not be your course of action. - Don't let it overwhelm you. - Exactly. - Very good advice. Hey, great conversation guys, really appreciate it. I think we are out of questions, so I think that wraps it up. So thanks for joining us everyone, and for sticking around for this conversation. Be sure to tune in next week for a session on "Quality Checks and Post-Delivery Handling" with Chris Ansell from Corporate Biological Systems. Please note that we will start at 11:00 a.m again, Eastern Standard Time. So in the meantime, have a great week everyone.