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Spider-Mite Destroyers (Stethorus Punctillum)
Use spider-mite destroyers in addition to spider-mite predators (above) when spider-mite populations are especially high. These tiny ladybugs eat all stages of sprider-mites, and find new infestation sites on their own by flying. Each spider-mite destroyer eats more than 40 mites per day, living 4-5 weeks. Life cycle takes 18 days at 70 degrees F. 100 spider-mite destroyers gets a colony started. Prices include second day air shipping for weekday delivery. Add $15 for next day air delivery, and add $25 for next day air Saturday delivery.
Fungus-Gnat Predators (Hypoaspis)
Sprinkle fungus gnat predators onto soil surface (or capillary mat, hydroponic media, etc.) for control of fungus gnats and most other small, soil inhabiting insects, mites and springtails. Provides up to 30% control of western flower thrips as well. Predators live and breed in the top 1/2″ of soil. 5000 treats up to 200 square feet of bedding area. Prices include second day air shipping for weekday delivery. Add $15 for next day air delivery, and add $25 for next day air Saturday delivery.
Whitefly Parasites (Encarsia Formosa)
Tiny whitefly parasites have worked so well on greenhouse whiteflies, that many commercial greenhouses use them as their only form of whitefly control. Parasites work by laying their eggs inside whitefly eggs, so that another parasite hatches instead of the whitefly. Once established, they continue to breed all season long. So small, their flights are measured in mere inches, not feet. You’ll probably never even see them (except with magnification). Whitefly parasites come packaged as eggs ready to hatch, glued to small cards. These cards of eggs are hung from plant foliage, and the parasites emerge as adults. They’ll fly off and do the rest. How do you know they’re working? Within 10 days of a whitefly egg being parasitized, it turns totally jet-black in color instead of the normal clearish-green color. Commercial operations usually make 4 releases of parasites, spaced 2 weeks apart. This gives the fastest, most even control. However, home gardeners often get good results from a single release. Use 500 for a small home greenhouse, 1000 for a larger one. Commercial greenhouses use 1 per square foot of planted area. The best time to release parasites is when whiteflies first start showing up. If they’re already out of hand when you first notice them, spray insecticidal soap to reduce the adult whitefly population, then release the parasites. They work best when temperatures average at least 68° (add day and night temperatures, divide by 2). Lower temperatures will require monthly introductions of the parasites. Prices include second day air shipping for weekday delivery.
Whitefly Predators (Delphastus Pusillus)
Whitefly Predators eat at least 150 whitefly eggs a day, feeding voraciously on all species of whiteflies, including Sweet-Potato Whitefly and Silverleaf Whitefly. Suggested release rate is 1 beetle for every 15-20 square feet of greenhouse space, repeated 2-3 times at 10-14 day intervals. This should give control in about a month. One release gives eventual control, but more slowly. Predators work best at 65-90 degrees F. Use with Whitefly Parasites (Encarsia Formosa) above. Whitefly Predators are very perishable, and must ship by overnight shipping only. Price includes next day air shipping.
Aphid Predators (Aphidoletes Aphidimyza)
Aphid predators lay eggs near aphid colonies, which hatch and begin feeding on aphids. Aphids are first paralyzed with a poison, then sucked dry. Dead aphids remain attached to plant leaves and eventually dry up. Aphid predators usually provide breeding populations from a single release. 250 is enough to handle a small home greenhouse, while 1000 covers a larger one. Aphid predators come as cocoons ready to hatch, packaged in bottles. Spread the contents on the soil or leaves and let them do the rest. Prices include second day air shipping for weekday delivery.
Ladybugs (Hippodamia Convergens)
Ladybugs can eat over 5000 aphids (or other soft body insects) during their lifetime of about a year. They don’t always provide the pest control expected, but we hear enough success stories to make them worth trying. Ladybugs are one of the few beneficial insects that can be stored for a few weeks, dormant, in the refrigerator. Keep them above freezing, and you can let some out occasionally, as needed. If ladybugs tend to fly away, you can spray their backs with a light soda pop and water spray – it “glues” their wings shut so they can’t fly! It wears off after a week or so. One-half pint is enough for a small garden, a quart covers a larger one. Shipped via first class mail.
Green Lacewings (Chrysopa Carnea)
If it’s an insect or egg that will fit in their mouths, green lacewings will eat it. That’s why green lacewings are suggested to control many pests, both outdoors and in greenhouse. Lacewings come as eggs ready to hatch, and will immediately begin eating pests. Looking like miniature “alligators”, they grow to almost 1/2″ long over 3 or 4 weeks, consuming over 400 aphids or other pests in the process. After that, they pupate into a beautiful adult insect, feeding only on nectar and pollen from flowers. Unless adults find nectar and pollen sources, they won’t lay more eggs, so you might need to reapply them occasionally. We suggest using 5000 eggs per backyard or acre, 1000 for small greenhouses. Release every 2 weeks through the pest season. Prices include second day air shipping for weekday delivery.
Mealybug Predators (Cryptolaemus Montrouzieri)
These all-purpose mealybug predators feed on most mealybug species, especially Citrus Mealybug. When mealybugs run short, they’ll eat scales, too. Closely related to the common ladybug, these are smaller and black in color. Because mealybugs breed so slow and mealybug predators eat so fast, only 1 or 2 are needed per plant. In some cases we’ve had more success with these caging them in with plants, as they sometimes fly towards light. Prices include second day air shipping for weekday delivery.
Predatory Nematodes (Steinernema Feltiae & Heterorhabditis Heliothedis)
Microscopic Predator Nematodes attack and kill almost any insects that live in the soil, even ones as large as cutworms. Not to be confused with pest nematodes, Predator Nematodes attack only insect pests, never plants, and they’re harmless to earthworms, too. But if it’s an insect, watch out! So long as an insect spends part of its life cycle resting in the soil (as many insect pests do) they attack by actually invading the insect body and then reproducing themselves on what remains, until only a ‘shell’ is left behind. More nematodes crawl out then to repeat the process. Predator Nematodes are so tiny, one million fit on a small 2 inch sponge. Each million treats up to 3000 square feet of soil surface.
To use, rinse the sponge(s) in a gallon of water. This gallon can then be further diluted with as little or as much water as desired, and watered into the soil? How do you water them into the soil? It doesn’t really matter – you can water them in with a watering can, spray them in with a pump sprayer (no, the pressure doesn’t hurt them – they go through the nozzle fine), or even run them through a fertilizer-injector. The important things are to use them within 2 hours of mixing, because after that they start to drown, and release them early in the morning or evening, because sunlight harms them until they’re watered into the soil. Water them in so they’re flushed through the top 2-3 inches of soil. For most pests, good control has been reached with repeat applications of nematodes every 4-6 weeks. They’ll live longest when the soil stays moist, but not saturated with water. If you want to store the nematode ‘sponges’ for a while before release, they’ll keep in the refrigerator (at 40-50 degrees F.) for up to 2 months. Add a few drops of water if they seem to be drying out.
Our Predator Nematodes perform better and go farther because they’ve been raised on a diet of live insects. Other brands are raised on an artificial diet and are not nearly as vigorous as our live-reared nematodes. Prices include second day air shipping for weekday delivery.
Thrips Predator Mites (Amblyseius Cucumeris)
These thrips-eating mites are useful under high humidity (70-85%) growing conditions, against all species of thrips. Reports have been poor with lower humidity environments. Often, Predator Nematodes (above) alone will control thrips (those that breed in soil, which is most thrips, but not all because some lay their eggs in leaf tissue instead), so we recommend nematodes first. But in some gardens, thrips predator mites have been the great cure. Use 100-500 per plant, reapply as necessary.
Pirate Bugs (Orius Insidiosis)
The newest thrips control, Pirate Bugs also eat spider mites and aphids. Both nymph and adult Pirate Bugs have a “piercing-sucking” beak, which they use to pierce a hole and suck victims dry. Shipped as nymphs near hatching or adults ready to use (sorry, no choice). Use 100-2000 per acre, depending on rate of infestation. Although somewhat expensive, Pirate bugs are good for troublesome thrips when other controls have not been adequate. Saturday delivery.
One pound of compost redworms can eat a pound of kitchen garbage every day, and in the process makes a most wonderful garden fertilizer (worm castings) for free. Feed worms kitchen scraps, leaves, shredded newspapers, coffee grounds, etc. that you’d otherwise throw away. Our ‘warm-blooded’ compost redworms prefer temperatures about 70 degrees F., but happily accept any temperature from 35 degrees to 90 degrees F. Easy care instructions included. Prices include second day air shipping for weekday delivery.
While not the most effective insect control, praying mantis are almost as much fun as ladybugs and do eat just about anything in the bug kingdom that they can fit in their mouths. Each egg hatches between 1-2 hundred baby mantises. Shipped via first-class mail.
>All these insects can be bought in large or small quanities from Home Harvest Supply