Homeowners and Biological
Attracting Beneficial Insects
Most think of
beneficial insects as strictly meat eaters but many require other food
types in their diet, such as pollen and nectar. One beneficial we all
know and love is the ladybird beetle. She is famous for her voracious
appetite of aphids and other pests, but did you know that some species
such as the Spotted Lady beetle
(Coleomegilla maculata )
require large amounts of pollen in their diet? Up to 50% of their diet is
made up of pollen. So by planting plants that produce pollen and nectar
you can draw in many good guys to your yard. Just make sure you
never treat these plants with pesticides. Want to read more? Read my
article on Learn2Grow on
Attracting Beneficials to Your Garden
|If you are
going to buy beneficial insects there are a few things you need to think
about before you do
- Are you sure you need them? Often
Mother Nature has done her job and pests are already dead. Many
are killed by parasites leaving the dead bodies of the pests behind.
- Have you identified your pest correctly?
Biological control is an exact science, you need to know what your pests
are in order to get the purchase the right beneficial.
- Do you know where your beneficials are coming
from? Most are laboratory reared here in the US or Europe but some
are harvested from the wild. Ones harvested can sometimes carry
diseases and parasites. Do you know where ladybird beetles come
from? Read about
- Shipping costs. Always look at
shipping costs because most beneficials are sent overnight and this can
significantly add to the cost.
- Where can homeowners can buy beneficial
insects, predatory mites and beneficial nematodes. See below
of Biological Control Agents for Homeowners
BioBest - One of the largest suppliers in the world of biological
control agents. They are now selling homeowners select products.
Company - Producer of beneficial nematodes.
BioWorks - Traditionally supplies the commercial grower but now
selling products to homeowners like
RootShield (biological disease management) and beneficial nematodes.
Gardens Alive - Supplies assortment of organic and biological
Natural Insect Control Supplies assortment of organic
and biological control products. Based in Canada.
Peaceful Valley - Supplies assortment of organic and biological
The Environmental Factor - Beneficial nematodes (The Nemaglobe) and
other eco friendly products. They even have an instructional video on
to apply beneficial nematodes.