Woolly Apple Aphid are on the move!
Here’s an interesting observation from Batlow this week. I established earwig shelters (made from corrugated cardboard) in several blocks this season to monitor European earwig levels as part of a Future Orchards Woolly Apple Aphid (WAA) study.
I’ve been checking these fortnightly (except for a six week period following the bush fires). This week I noticed Woolly Apple sheltering within the roll and between the roll and the tree trunk. This is the first time that I’ve ever put a date (say, start of April) on the timing for WAA to start moving from the canopy, down the trunk to the root system where the majority will over-winter. I can’t be certain, but the aphids looked very dark…almost like they had been parasitised by Aphelinus mali. In this particular block, there are zero earwigs, but loads of A.mali.
I’ll be presenting the results of the earwig monitoring at the June 2020 Batlow Orchard Walk. In the meantime, I’d be happy to hear about your observations with WAA this season – comment below or via our facebook group: http://bit.ly/OzapplepearIPDM
Article reviewed by David Williams (Agriculture Victoria)