Aphids be Gone

Aug 15, 12 • UncategorizedComments Off on Aphids be Gone

The Heliopsis in my garden is completely infested with aphids. It happens every year. This might seem like a bad thing – but it’s not. I know the Heliopsis will survive the onslaught (it always does) and allowing the plant to play host to the aphids means an increase in all the predators that naturally keep pest numbers down throughout my garden. Here is a fine example of exactly that. The little wasp you see here is an aphid parasitoid. She will lay a single egg inside an aphid. The resulting larva will consume the aphid, leaving only a swollen, brown exoskeleton behind (commonly called an aphid mummy). Eventually the larva pupates within the aphid, chews a circular hole in the back of the aphid, and emerges as an adult. Then the cycle begins anew. It’s pretty incredible stuff – and it wouldn’t be happening if I got rid of the aphids myself. Sometimes it’s difficult to let things ‘be’ – but when you do, something amazing could be the result.

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