A team of researchers at Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (part of the University of Liège) have come up with a non-toxic, natural way of controlling aphid infestations. It seems that aphids produce a bacteria (Staphyloccocus sciuri) which attract its predators such as lady bugs and syrphid flies. When aphids eat they ingest too much sugar and therefore excrete honeydew. The bacteria consume the honeydew and liberate volatile compounds that attract the predators. The idea is to produce the volatile compounds and spray them on the plants the aphids favor. Not only do the adult syrphids eat aphids, their larvae eat up to 1,200 aphids each. The volatile compounds not only attract the syrphids, they also stimulate egg-laying.
Click here for an article from Nature Communications about this discovery.