Beneficial Insects can Control Greenhouse Pests– go bug or go home.
With summer fading and the cold winter approaching, growers are turning to their greenhouses for winter crops. Most plants, flourish in the humidity, warmth and perfect condition allotted from greenhouses. Unfortunately, so do the same pests that plague our outdoor crops. Growers, who raise food grade plants, don’t have as many options for eliminating pests. Plants contaminated with heavy pesticides can be recalled. So, what are your options? Biological, mechanical and environmental control.
Most growers use a combination of these three methods to keep pests from destroying their plants.
Biological pest control uses natural predators to halt infestations of mites and other pests in their greenhouse. Diligence and constant monitoring of plants is needed when using natural predators. It is not an overnight cure, though some predators like the persimillis go straight to work and they have veracious appetites. They will feed on the pests until they are destroyed and then die off themselves from starvation. Other predators, like the fallacis, are not as aggressive and are able to stay alive by finding other foods to eat. The end results is your plants are chemical free and it is less expensive and time consuming than toxic sprays and powders.
Mechanical control combines equipment and hands on labor to keep pests down to a minimum. This can include removing plants infested with bad bugs from the greenhouse, installing insect screening to keep out the insects – of course, this also means natural predators like the lady bug can’t get in, sterilizing your equipment on a regular basis to help keep pest moving from plant to plant and pulling any weeds from both inside and outside of your greenhouse to help keep pests under control.
Lastly, there has been some success controlling of the greenhouse pests with environmental controls. Don’t let the green house get cold in between planting crops. Crank up the heat! The eggs of pests will hatch and then starve as there is nothing for them to feed on. Make sure the greenhouse is well ventilated. This will help keep the leaves dry and the fungal spores from growing.
How to you control your bad bugs? Brad the Bugman would love to know!! Visit us at www.marchbiological.com for more helpful garden tips.