The wasp genus Aphidius is a large group containing numerous species, all of which attack aphids and provide natural control of aphids in backyard gardens, commercial fields, and urban landscapes. They are generally used in greenhouses.
Aphidius colemani are small braconid wasps. Females lay eggs singly in aphid nymphs. The wasp larvae consume the aphids from inside. As the larvae mature and the aphids are killed, the aphids turn into mummies. After the larvae pupate, each adult wasp emerges through an exit hole cut in the mummy. In addition to killing aphids directly, mechanical disturbance of aphid colonies by the searching behavior of the adult wasps causes many aphids to fall off the plants and die.
Aphidius ervi attack many species of larger aphids such as the green peach aphid and brassica aphids. As brassica aphids are quite common in gardens, you are likely to see this natural enemy in your garden.
Mummies are 1mm in size and a light bronze color. When the adults emerge, they leave exit holes in the mummies.Larvae are not visible as they are living within the aphid.
Adults are tiny wasps, about 3mm long. They have dark wings and gold and black bodies. Adults are identified by the veins on their wing.
Orius insidiosus, also called the minute pirate bug, is an aggressive thrips predator – possibly the most effective. It attacks and kills all mobile stages of thrips, including adult thrips. Orius is aggressive – it consumes 12 thrips per day but kills many more (45) than it eats.