Aphytis melinus is an important parasite of several species of armored scales including California red scale, latania scale, San Jose scale, and oleander scale. Several other closely related (and difficult to distinguish) Aphytis species attack various armored scales in California. Aphytis feeds on and oviposits in immature scales, preferring virgin adult female scales. One reason for its effectiveness as a natural enemy is that Aphytis has two or three generations for each scale generation. Aphytis work well in greenhouses and interiorscapes, and under the right conditions are very successful outdoors as well.
Aphytis are sensitive to many pesticides and it is important to check for pesticide residues before releasing the parasites. Be sure to consider secondary effects of a pesticide before using them in any crop where Aphytis are present. Ant control is also important where Aphytis are present because ants will disrupt the ability of the parasites to oviposit.
- 1-6+ per square foot of crop canopy, bi-weekly or as needed.
To release Aphytis, leave container open and on its side in a tree or other crop, or walk through infested area and gently wave the container 2-3 times for a more rapid release.
In an orchard or grove: Release parasites on the shaded side of tree when temperatures are below 90°F (32°C). Release parasites every fifth to sixth tree every fifth to sixth row starting at a different row each release.
For use in greenhouses or interiorscapes: Release at dusk or when windows are covered so that the parasite finds infested plants more quickly.
- Shipped as adults. Orders for A. melinus must be received by noon on Friday for shipment in the next two weeks. Beneficial insects are normally shipped by FedEx Ground within the state of Washington, and by FedEx Express elsewhere in the USA. Please contact us directly if you require a different method of shipping. Live insects may not be shipped to Hawaii.