Some Maggots Help Control Aphids
Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Joy McNulty, my sister by marriage makes a terrific Caesar's salad using her father Dominick's recipe. If you, too enjoy Caesar's salad, then find a spot in your heart for certain flies. The lettuce aphid slipped into the US from Europe in the 1990s and has been especially hard for organic gtrowers to control. Fortunately, certain Syrphid flies, also called hoover flies, have aphidaphagous larvae – their legless young devour aphids! The females can smell aphids and lay their eggs directly in clusters of these plant sucking pests. The eggs hatch immediately and by day five the larvae eat up to 300 aphids a night. Aphidaphagous – means having a liking for aphids – and for organic lettuce growers these seemingly yucky legless larvae – aka maggots are a welcome biological control method they get courtesy of mother nature.