Never Buy Ladybugs!

Never buy Lady Bugs!! Seriously. For those of us who know ‘bugs’, and know biological pest control, there is one great reason for commercially available and lab-produced ladybugs: They are the “gateway bug.” An insect that people regularly see, generally like, and view as the poster-icon for beneficial insects. If shopping for “ladybugs” and even... Continue Reading →

Growing Backyard Wheat

Summer is a progression from Spring Green to hues of gold and brown. Fields of grasses like barley and wheat reach for the sun, turn gold and bow their heads to the summer heat.  Your yard is, no doubt, full of beautiful plants that similarly demonstrate the passage of time in the choreographed, seasonal flora-dance.... Continue Reading →

Grow Hard

It was a windy day. I wasn’t far from the ocean, although I couldn’t see it. The valley was cold for June and I could smell the salt in the air. I don’t often get to visit growers, especially ones who aren’t already clients. But there I was, on a “cold-call” to an ornamental grower.... Continue Reading →

Know Your Bugs: The American Hoverfly

  Eupeodes americanus is a hoverfly species with a range from Alaska to Mexico - and maybe beyond and even in Europe. Hoverflies are often mistook for bees - or so I hear. They do have yellow/black or white/black markings, but unlike wasps or bees, they have short antenna, enormous fly-eyes, and only one pair... Continue Reading →

Know Your Bugs: Whitefly

No one knows how many whitefly species there are, but most of the ones we are concerned about seem to arrive to North America via Florida, and the bad ones stay. If you’re not a total bug-geek like me and you have chosen to read this article it is likely because you are familiar with... Continue Reading →

Know Your Bugs: Phytoseiulus persimilis

Since the popularization of the modern greenhouse in Victorian England, non-chemical, greenhouse pest-control, as we know it, has been practiced. It was before modern chemical pesticides were available, and it was at this same time that Phytoseiulus persimilis (common name: Persimilis) became cosmopolitan and the standard for two spotted spider mite control.  Without the sophistication... Continue Reading →

Controlling Thrips with Beneficial Mites

In some areas, thrips begin to appear in early spring. Most of us become aware of thrips during a large influx late in the spring and throughout the summer. Thrips don't fly, rather, they tumble and in days of atmospheric convection, they (like many mites) use the electro-static conditions to levitate and travel large distances.... Continue Reading →

Stethorus – The Ulimate Spider Mite Predator

Quietly gaining recognition for spider mite control amongst the giants (figuratively-speaking) of the industry like phytoseiulus persimilis, amblyseius andersoni, fallacis and californicus, stethorus punctillum is making itself known to growers thanks to its’ flight, hunger, and suitability for hot crops, low humidity and sticky plants. The “giants” previously listed are all predatory mites. Stethorus is... Continue Reading →

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