The effects of two natural aphid enemies, adult Coccinella septempunctataLinneaus, a predator, and Aphidius rhopalosiphi de Stefani Perez, a parasitoid, on spread of barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) transmitted by the bird cherry–oat aphid, Rhopalosiphum padi (Linnaeus) were studied under laboratory conditions. Predators or parasitoids were introduced to trays of durum wheat seedlings and the patterns of virus infection were observed after two, seven and 14 days of exposure. More plants were infected with BYDV in control trays without A. rhopalosiphithan in trays with the parasitoid present, both seven and 14 days after the introduction of parasitoids. Patterns of virus infection were found to be similar over time in trays with a parasitoid present and in control trays. More plants were infected in trays with C. septempunctata present than in control trays, both two and seven days after the introduction of the coccinellid. The spread of virus infections progressed differently over time for the two treatments (predator and parasitoid), differences between treatments being most marked after two days and seven days, when more plants exposed to predators but fewer exposed to parasitoids were infected with BYDV compared to their respective controls. However, by the 14th day 88% of all plants were infected and there was no significant difference between the two treatments. The role of natural enemies in spread of BYDV is discussed.