The larval stage of this predatory gnat-sized insect preys on all types of aphids, in both indoor and outdoor settings.
Release Aphidoletes at first sight of aphids; for heavy infestations, reduce aphid numbers with a firm water spray or Jungle Rain before introducing Aphidoletes, which are shipped as pupae. Release pupae in moist shaded areas. The adults hatch within 1-12 days; they mate, and the females lay up to 250 eggs within 10 days.
Larvae grow up to 1/8 inch long and can consume aphids much larger than themselves and may kill 4-65 aphids per day, many more aphids than they eat when aphid populations are high. After 3-7 days the larvae drop to the ground and burrow 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches into the soil to pupate. They are most effective at 68-80 degrees Fahrenheit and high relative humidity.
Release rates: 1 predator/10 sq. ft. or 4,500/acre; heavier infestations require 2-3 predators/10 sq. ft. For best results, use in conjunction with ladybugs and green lacewing. Low release rates may be used for preventative control. Two to four releases are usually neccessary to achieve control in heavy infestations. Additional releases are not necessary as Aphidoletes reproduces well. Availability: year-round.