FresaProtect and BerryProtect: control of aphids through constant presence of complementary parasitoids


Abstract: Viridaxis is a Belgian company which developed a new, plant-less 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 becomes increasingly difficult to gain 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 expected aphids are well known. What was needed was a product controlling the largest possible variety of aphid species susceptibly present in the crop. Viridaxis studied the aphids attacking strawberry and berry crops in various regions and over many years, and developed two unique cocktails of parasitoids species (FresaProtect and BerryProtect) parasitizing and controlling all aphids. FresaProtect and BerryProtect contain six or five different species of natural aphid enemies, respectively, and are able to control all commonly appearing aphids attacking strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and currants. The fact of mixing of not only different species, but also different ages of different mummies allows to prolonge 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 soft fruit crops in which releases only every three weeks assure constant presence of fresh parasitoid adults and hence continuous and reliable aphid control.

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