Ladybird survival increased by aphids fed on organic crops
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A new study that was co-authored by the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) has found that ladybird larvae fed on aphids from organic crops are more likely to survive than those fed on bugs from crops grown with conventional fertilisers, the Soil Association reports. The research was published in Biological Control and demonstrated that ladybird larvae fed on “organic aphids” had a 10 % greater chance of surviving to adulthood.
This increase could have large consequences for the way farmers work with the environment to control pests naturally. Dr Jo Staley of NERC's Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), one of the paper's authors, said the research established that a simple change of fertiliser in a single crop plant could produce a significant difference to ladybird mortality. The full article is available here.