Harmonia axyridis-By Scott Loarie
Harmonia axyridis, commonly known as the multicolored Asian lady beetle, is a species of lady beetle native to Asia. It has been introduced as a biocontrol agent in many regions of the world to control agricultural pests, such as aphids and mites. Despite its effectiveness, the introduction of the multicolored Asian lady beetle has been controversial, with concerns over its potential impact on native lady beetle populations and the environment.
One example of the use of the multicolored Asian lady beetle as a biocontrol agent is in North America, where it has been used to control aphids on soybeans. The introduction of the beetle has been successful, with research showing a reduction in aphid populations and an increase in soybean yield. However, there have also been concerns about the beetle’s impact on native lady beetle populations and the potential for it to become an invasive species.
In Europe, the multicolored Asian lady beetle has been used to control the pear psylla, a pest of pear trees. The use of the beetle as a biocontrol agent has been effective, with studies showing a reduction in pear psylla populations and improved pear tree health. However, there have also been reports of the beetle becoming a nuisance in urban areas, where it enters buildings and homes in large numbers during the fall.