After years of chemical pesticide struggles, frequent applications, and product mixtures, we sought natural and effective pest control methods. Online research introduced me to beneficial and predatory insects, our sole pest control solution. We know you want the bug list first, so here they are.
Beneficial and Predatory Insects We Use at CheyDPlantLady:
|Neoseiulus Californicus Mites
|Green Lacewing Eggs and/or Larvae
|Mealybug, Thrips, Aphids, Some Scale
|Various Mites, Thrips Larvae
|Hypoaspis (Stratiolaelaps Scimitus Womersley
|Fungus Gnats, Root Aphids, Mites, Western Flower Thrips
Introducing Beneficial Insects to your Pest Control Routine
When you've decided to transition from chemical pesticide options, it's important to have a waiting period between your last chemical application and your first insect application. Anecdotally, two weeks seems to be plenty of time. It's a good idea to wipe off any residue remaining on your plants prior to the application of your insects.
Next, you'll need to identify exactly which pests you're trying to control, and order the corresponding bug for the target pest. For Neoseiulus Californicus Mites and Amblyseius Andersoni, there's a bulk or sachet option for purchasing, with sachets being more ideal for the indoor gardener. It's important to note the ideal conditions of the insects, as this will encourage them to breed during their life cycle. It is ideal to "front load" your insect application. Initially, an application every two weeks is a good pace, until your predators begin to build their colonies. When we made the switch, we did four applications spaced two weeks apart, and have since done applications every 4-6 weeks as needed.
Seeing as these are all living insects, usually overnight shipping is required, which can understandably deter a lot of people. We order our bugs from Evergreen Grower's Supply. If you live in Oregon or Washington, they offer a flat rate shipping of only $16. There are also group buys (which means reduced shipping costs!) available online through various chapters of DMV Beneficials, a wonderful group stared to educate plant lovers on beneficial and predatory insects.
Please, do not use or order ladybugs for pest control.
Ususally, one of the first things that pop up on a web search for beneficial insects are ladybugs. However, almost all ladybugs available for purchase are harvested from the wild, and harms the already fragile habitat they have. Ladybugs are harvested during their hibernation phase, and afterward, their instincts tell them it is time to fly away to lay eggs. So, you can literally watch your money fly away. "