Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Harmonia axyridis - a new fruit pest?

We've been concerned for some time about the rising numbers of Harlequin Ladybirds (Harmonia axyridis) and the effect they will have on native ladybird ecology, including the predation of native ladybird larvae. However, I hadn't realised until now that they can also be pest of fruit. In addition to feeding on aphids, they will also suck ripe and soft fruit in late summer, and even damage the skin of pears. I haven't noticed any damage here, but the numbers continue to rise inexorably, so it may well become an issue in the future. 

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