These are live insects and MUST be shipped OVERNIGHT. No USPS or ground shipping.
They feed for 7-10 days and can kill 3-50 aphids per day. Where aphid populations are high, larvae kill many more aphids than they can consume. To pupate, larvae drop to the ground and burrow into the top 1-2 cm (1/2 inch) of soil or organic material to spin a cocoon. Adults emerge in 2-3 weeks. Outdoors, the last generation of Aphidoletes in the fall overwinters in the cocoons in the soil. They are very hardy and survive outside throughout the cold/warm growing regions. Note:Aphidoletes respond to cool temperatures and shortening day lengths (less than 16 hrs) by entering diapause (like a hibernation state), therefore in most greenhouse they are only active from mid-March to September unless supplemental lighting is used.
Adults should begin to emerge within 1 week and all should emerge within 14 days of receipt. Once you have made it home with your Aphidoletes you MUST use them immediately. Aphidoletes cannot be stored. Aphidymiza should be released during spring time, 2-3 times a day at 7-10 day intervals. Repeat this 1-3 times and 1-2 weeks apart or until predator is established. Because they diapause in short-day conditions, Aphidoletes should only be introduced in greenhouses during fall and winter if there is supplemental lighting.
It has been found that leaving on one 60-watt light bulb all night will prevent diapause in more than half of the larvae within a 20 m (20 yd) diameter circle as long as night temperatures are above 15°C (60°F). The larvae need to burrow into damp soil, peat moss, sawdust or other growth media to pupate. In greenhouses with bare plastic or concrete floors, survival will be low unless such organic materials are provided. Adding sand, sawdust or other organic materials under the leaf zones of plants will improve reproduction of Aphidoletes. For control of cotton/melon aphid, which reproduces very quickly, Aphidoletes should be used along with Aphidius parasitic wasps.
It may be necessary to control ants in conservatories and around outdoor trees because they can protect aphid colonies by removing predators. For additional control of aphids, pirimicarb (i.e., Pirliss ) may be used. It is slightly toxic to Aphidoletes, but the repellent effect of the pesticide disperses the aphids and has been found to repel Aphidoletes females from laying eggs on leaves with pirimicarb residues therefore avoid frequent use. Insecticidal soaps are harmful to all stages of Aphidoletes, but have no residual effect.