Top Picks for Beneficial Insects and Integrated Pest Management Solutions

What is IPM? 

Integrated pest management, known as IPM, utilizes a number of tools for insect pest control management.  IPM examples include; scheduled releases of beneficial insects, called biocontrols), scouting fields for the beginning stages of pest encroachment (prevention), consistent foliar spray applications (persistence), facility cleanliness, organization, and field planning of banker crops and trap crops. 


Benefits of Integrated Pest Management:

Advantages of IPM management include; enhancing your farm’s ability to balance its individual biome, planned preventative routine maintenance and thorough observation that increases your crop’s potential for profit. 


Pros and Cons of IPM methods:

The benefits of IPM methods and IPM strategies may not be recognized immediately. Initially, it may also seem to have a higher up-front cost, and a need for more of your time and attention. However, with the appropriate use of insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, beneficial insects, preventative facility maintenance and acute scouting observations, those costs greatly lessen, and with patience, your crop’s quality will improve.  Over time, your operation begins to reduce its dependence on bottled synthetic chemical compounds, improve worker safety, and increase crop yields and plant health. Integrating pest control mechanisms will improve healthy balanced biology above and below ground. 


Why are bugs (in general) beneficial?

Using beneficial bugs and sprays, increase the biodiversity of your farm’s health, by introducing biocontrols that balance the seasonal pressures of pests.  Introducing beneficial bugs onto your farm operation while also providing the resources (food and shelter) for these insects to live out their full reproductive life cycles, may establish a consistent inexpensive laborer for seasons to come. 


Here are a few beneficial insects that we recommend introducing to your farm plan during this part of the season for the following pests:

 

Pests: Aphids, mealy bugs, whiteflies, thrips

Beneficial Insect Control: Green Lacewing Larvae, Green Lacewings are most effective as an aphid knockdown when released in their larvae stage.  After hatching, green lacewing larvae begin to immediately consume aphids aggressively.  A cost effective option for aphid control due to their summer life-cycle that encourages proliferate attacks on any aphids, mealy bugs, or whiteflies.  As a food supplement for lacewings in indoor environments, we offer purchasing wheast.   

 

Foliar Product: OMRI Venerate XC (Burkholderia spp. strain A396):  We have used Venerate for a number of years.  It works great in rotation with other foliar sprays. Toxic when ingested, disrupts the molting process and degrades exoskeletons. Because of its broad spectrum control against foliar feeding insects, we recommend delaying the release of beneficial insects at least 48-72 hours after last application. 


Pests: Caterpillars 


Foliar Product: OMRI DiPel DF Bacteria sp. Bacillus thuringiensis v kurstaki. DiPel is a must have as a preventative and active Lepidopteran invasion! This dry flowable (DF) bacteria works best with weekly applications on vegetating plants during the July and August months, or when caterpillars are in larval heavy eating stage. Once applied to foliage, the larvae consume the bacteria which immediately goes to work on liquifying their digestive tract, ceasing the larvae from eating within a few hours, up to a few days.  It is recommended to re-apply after heavy rains, and to back-off or discontinue use after buds begin to stack around week 4 or 5 of flower.


Pests: Thrips and Generalist

Beneficial Insect Control: ORIUSforce™ Orius insidiosus, also known as the Pirate bug, is a generalist predator that seeks out thrips and other soft bodied insects.  Known to attack all stages of thrip life, as well as, mites, aphids and moth eggs,  this predator is extremely effective. If pest issues are minimal, Orius will feed on pollen from banker crops, or trap, crops such as flowering pepper plants.  Orius prefers to eat Ephestia eggs, also known as the flour moth, for supplemental feed.  A great predator to have working in your garden!

Foliar Product: OMRI The Amazing Dr. Zymes Eliminator kills and eliminates soft bodied insects, molds and mildews on your indoor or outdoor gardens. Eliminator will not clog the stomata, and  works by disrupting the insects' ability to breathe.  With the help of citric acid digesting the biomass and changing the pH to create a hostile environment so that mildews and molds cannot take hold.  A fantastic product for every other day, or every 3 day use up until a week before harvest.  

 

Every beneficial insect and insecticidal spray have labels that define that product’s  uses, crops and application rates. Please familiarize yourself with all safety protocols and local regulations. Canvast Supply Company has all of these products available on its website, and is ready to answer any questions.  We love feedback on our recommended products, so shoot us an email at info@canvastsupplyco.com

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of flower!