Category: News
Date published: February 19, 2024

Rhyzobug – ready to deal with armoured scales

Koppert is introducing a species of ladybird – Rhyzobius lophanthae – that will help growers control various types of armoured scales in their crops. The species is proving to be effective in a number of outdoor crops that include citrus, grapes, blackberries, kiwi and mango.

Armoured scales suck cell sap in fruit trees and berries that eventually result in defoliation and the dying back of twigs or larger branches. To prevent this, Rhyzobug can be applied both in greenhouses and in outdoor crops to control a wide range of harmful scale insects.

Product Manager Jenette Douma: ‘Our colleagues at Koppert Spain have been instrumental in making this product effective for outdoor cultivation. We have increased the volume of Rhyzobug from 250 to 500 ladybirds and changed the packaging from a plastic bottle to a more sustainable cardboard tube which is more suitable for agriculture.’

Why use Rhyzobug? 

  • It reduces the number of pesticide applications

  • Makes it easier to comply with the pesticide blacklist in the value chain

  • Contributes to a healthier end product

  • Environmentally friendly and improves biodiversity

  • Controls different species of armoured scales effectively

  • Easy to apply

  • Easy to combine with other natural enemies like Aphytis melinus

  • Both adults and larvae predate on armoured scale insects

Easy application 

Rhyzobug has a wide host range and predates on oleander scale, rose scale and Californian red scale, amongst others. ‘It’s really easy to apply,’ Jenette Douma assures. ‘You need to start introduction as soon as the first armoured scales are detected. You apply it in the evening and tap the beetles directly onto the plants based on 500-3000/ha (for outdoor cultivation) in several applications depending on the degree of infestation.’

As with all live insect transportation, special care needs to be taken for the ladybirds to be fit to do their work in the crop on arrival. ‘Our furthest destination at the moment is South Africa, and our road and flight transportation trials have proved to be successful,’ Jenette explains. Rhyzobug will initially be available in Italy, France, Spain and South Africa.