1996-1997 New England Apple Pest Management Guide

Selected biological control agents found in orchards





Cecidomyiid fly (Aphidoletes aphidimyza) larva

aphids, mites, scale insects

Small orange maggots found in aphid colonies, often provide summer control of apple aphid.

Syrphid fly larva


Larva consumes 200800 aphids. Adults are important apple pollinators.

Tachinid fly larva

primarily the immature stages of moths, beetles, and sawflies.

Adults look like house flies, but with more hairs.

Green lacewing larva

aphids, leafhoppers, mites, eggs and small lepidoptera larvae, mealybugs, scale insects.

Active early spring to late summer. Consume 20 to several hundred aphids a day.

Ladybird beetle adults and larvae


aphids, mites, scale insects, small caterpillars, plant bugs.

Many species found in orchards. Average female eats over 2000 aphids before she dies.

Stethorus punctum, ladybird beetle


European red mites and twospotted spider mites.

Larva and adult eat up to 100 mites a day. More likely where mite density is 5 mites/leaf or higher. May be limited to southern New England.

Ground beetle and Rove beetle species

Ground beetles: caterpillars, cutworms, pest lifestages that inhabit soil. Rove beetles: aphids and mites.

Adults and larvae are both predaceous.

Minute pirate bug


aphids and other small insects, mites, young scales, insect eggs.

Nymphs can consume about 30 mites a day.

Damsel bugs and assassin bugs (other true bug families)

Combined prey list includes aphids, leafhoppers, mites, moth eggs, small caterpillars. May also feed on tarnished plant bug nymphs.

Both families have long beaks. Nymphs and adults are predaceous.


Braconid wasp species


aphids, bark beetles, caterpillars (codling moth, leafroller, etc.), leafminers.

Pholetesor ornigis is a key parasite of tissue-feeding leafminer larvae. It leaves a white cocoon in the mine.

Sympiesis marylandensis, Eulophid wasp

leafminer tissue-feeding stage larvae

Wasp larva is a key factor in leafminer suppression. Adults also feed on leafminer larvae.

Chalcid wasp species

aphids, leafminers, moth eggs and caterpillars, scale insects.

In some pest species, chalcid parasitism may exceed 50 percent of the population.

Ichneumonid wasp species

larvae of moths, butterflies, beetles, sawflies.

Adults generally larger than other wasp parasites, with a long ovipositor.

Amblyseius fallacis and Typhlodromus pyri, Phytoseiid predator mite species


European red mites and twospotted spider mites.

A. fallacis is a fast moving, yellow mite about the size of ERM, that moves back into trees in mid-summer. Where abundant, it can provide effective pest mite control.

Zetzellia mali, Stigmaeid predator mite

Primarily European red mite (ERM) eggs.

Adults are lemon yellow. Feeding pattern complements predation by Phytoseiid predators as they prefer different ERM stages.

Spiders (many species)


All spider species are predators, primarily on insects. Leafhoppers, leafminer larvae, and many other apple pests are probably preyed upon by spiders.

The role of spiders in orchard pest regulation is not yet well understood.



 On to Nematodes

1996-1997 New England Apple Pest Management Guide