In ecological-based farming the first lines of defense against insect and mite pests is biological control – using beneficial arthropods such as predatory mites, lacewings, lady beetles, spiders, parasitic wasps, and many more. Usually these predators and parasites are present naturally in orchards and vineyards, and only need to be monitored and evaluated. But sometimes this biological control can be improved or speeded up by releasing beneficials reared in insectaries.
The consultants at Bio Ag Services are leaders in understanding and using biological control. Our monitoring includes showing our growers how well the native predators are working, and when extra releases can help. Our many years of investigation, discovery, and experience help us recommend the best beneficials at the most cost effective rate and timing.
The following beneficial insects are among those that Bio Ag Services uses in our pest management programs. Our prices are competitive.
Predatory mites: Galendromus occidentalis and other predatory mites search out mite infestations and prevent or contain outbreaks.
Six-spot thrips: Scolothrips sexmaculatus, a fast eater, this little insect can control mite outbreaks in a few weeks.
Green lacewings: Chrysopa spp. and Chrysoperla spp. The varied diet and low cost of green lacewings makes them a useful addition to control programs for aphids, mealybugs, leafhoppers, mites, and other pests.
Brown lacewings: Hemerobius spp. Brown lacewings also have a varied diet. They are especially good in mealybug control programs.
Mealybug destroyer: Cryptolaemus montrouzieri and related lady beetles specialize in consuming mealybugs.
Aphytis melinus: a tiny parasitic wasp, this “Golden Chalcid” is widely used to control California red scale in citrus and San Jose scale in tree fruit.
Anagyrus pseudococci: this parasitic wasp helps control vine mealybug in grapes and also attacks Gilli’s mealybug in pistachios, persimmons and almonds.
Goniosus legneri: This black parasitic wasp is excellent for control of navel orangeworms. Photos