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How to by Beneficial Insects

and other biological control agents

Step 1: Finding a Beneficial Insect Supplier. Where to look?
  • Internet

  • Extension

  • Educational Seminars

  • Magazines

  • Books

  • Buglady's list of suppliers

  • Other growers and gardeners

  • ANBP

Step 2: Ask The Supplier Questions

Questions to ask suppliers about quality control practices and issues

  • Do they provide consulting services to set up a program prior to selling you beneficials?
  • Will they recommend a consultant in your area to assist with this process?
  • Does the company provide written literature prior to the arrival of product so preparations can be made if necessary?
  • Do they ship overnight in insulated containers?
  • What is company policy on product that arrives late?

Technical questions that should be asked between buyer and supplier

  • Where are the beneficials going? Just like plants, insects cannot survive in all conditions.
  • Temperature highs and lows?  Temperature affects life cycle development.
  • Humidity level?  Humidity makes a difference with life cycle development.
  • Pest being targeted?  There are many species of pest insects, you need to know what pest you are dealing with specifically.  Predators and parasites can be host specific
  • Crop?  Different plants have different pest complexes.
  • Length of crop cycle?  Short term crops may not be cost effective.
  • Type of production?  Greenhouse, field, hydroponic, or Interiorscape, landscape?
  • Pest population levels?  Need to do an initial knocked down before getting started?
  • Irrigation? Different irrigation schedules and methods can call for different release methods.
  • Size of area to treat.  Different beneficials have different release rates.  There are many variables here.  Let the supplier, after hearing about your operation, develop rates for you.
  • Chemicals that have been used on crop?  #1 killer of biological programs, most pesticides are not that selective: their residual can kill many beneficial insects and mites


2017 Buglady Consulting / Quince Creek LLC

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