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Getting Started with Beneficial Insects Presented in Oregon January 2010 Getting Started with Beneficial Insects Presented in Oregon January 2010

Starting with Biocontrols or Stopping with Chemicals? l What we are really talking about Starting with Biocontrols or Stopping with Chemicals? l What we are really talking about is stopping, or reducing the use of chemical pesticides. l Bio-controls are the natural and “normal” method of controlling pests. l Chemical pesticides are basically a 20 th Century, temporary solution

Why Reduce using Chemical Pesticides? l l l The Government is removing some for Why Reduce using Chemical Pesticides? l l l The Government is removing some for public safety reasons. The Chemical industry is reducing the number of chemicals available due to registration costs. Inappropriate use is leading to resistance The active ingredient, or the solvents used can cause physical damage to the plants. To apply chemicals legally, re-entry times may disrupt your operation. For your employees, and your own health.

Pros and Cons of Beneficial Insects l Pros: l l l Natural and benign Pros and Cons of Beneficial Insects l Pros: l l l Natural and benign No re-entry delays or special equipment Cost effective if used appropriately Won’t damage plants No resistance risk Provides a “cooling off” period for Chemicals l Cons: Limited species commercially available l Some control is achieved with pest persistent l Requires thorough scouting and identification l Can be expensive if not used appropriately l

Starting Point or How do I Kick the Chemical Habit? Stop all “routine” spray Starting Point or How do I Kick the Chemical Habit? Stop all “routine” spray programs l Clean out your Chemical arsenal by switching to IPM products l Completely rethink your position on “bugs” l Begin extensive monitoring l Keep a log of when and where pests occur l Identify sensitive plants or plants that act like magnets l Only Spot spray l

The Awful Truth l l l What you are trying to do is natural, The Awful Truth l l l What you are trying to do is natural, but you are working with unnatural conditions in an unnatural time frame You cannot afford to let nature “take its course” You are working with some of the harshest environments on earth Your budget is being reduced, as we speak You can’t keep doing what you are doing Your customers are not sympathetic and expect healthy, insect free plants

The New Reality l IPM is a proven system l Many Gardens, such as The New Reality l IPM is a proven system l Many Gardens, such as Kew in England Butchart in Canada, are featuring Beneficial Insects as part of the show l Children are learning about Beneficial Insects in school, they will be expecting you to be using them when they become your customers

Small Beginnings Start with a specific problem l Involve all of your staff l Small Beginnings Start with a specific problem l Involve all of your staff l Get outside help, make your supplier “buy into” the project l Pick something that Chemicals can’t do well l

Building on Success Once you have achieved a small success, involve your Directors and Building on Success Once you have achieved a small success, involve your Directors and your customers. Let it become their idea. l Make it part of the “act”, put signs out l Make it a media event l

The Realistic Goals l l l Your nursery becomes known as one that incorporates The Realistic Goals l l l Your nursery becomes known as one that incorporates “correct” methods Your pest control budget stays the same, or is reduced Your plants are healthier and bigger (by about 15%) especially in propagation You and your employees are healthier and happier The Beneficials become part of the show You may be able to sell Beneficials to your customers, increasing your sales potential

Introducing some of the Team l The following Beneficial Insects are proven performers for Introducing some of the Team l The following Beneficial Insects are proven performers for both outdoor and indoor l I will use specific examples of their applications for illustration l In most cases, they are available from numerous producers and suppliers

Spider Mite Predator Stethorus punctillum l l l Rookie of the year candidate Consumes Spider Mite Predator Stethorus punctillum l l l Rookie of the year candidate Consumes all Spider Mites it has faced Flies, finds mites by smell Is not intimidated by high temps and low humidity Excellent results in Raspberries in Oregon, hops in Washington, indoor palms in Las Vegas

Spider Mite Predator Amblyseius fallacis l l l Predatory mite that controls every pest Spider Mite Predator Amblyseius fallacis l l l Predatory mite that controls every pest mite Persists outdoors Alternate food is pollen Best control for Bamboo mite, European Red mite Excellent results in Mint in Montana, Bamboo in Oregon, Spruce in Washington, Cedar in B. C. , Greenhouse Tomatoes in New England

Aphid Predator Aphidoletes aphidimyza l l l Goes after all aphids and close relatives Aphid Predator Aphidoletes aphidimyza l l l Goes after all aphids and close relatives except “Wooly” aphid Over winters as far north as Sweden Completely cleans infested plants Flying adults find prey by smell Cycles indoor and outdoor

Whitefly Predator Delphastus catalinae Predator for all species of Whitefly l Excellent flyer, finds Whitefly Predator Delphastus catalinae Predator for all species of Whitefly l Excellent flyer, finds prey by smell l Prefers eggs, therefore eliminates “hot-spots” before they occur and works well with Encarsia formosa l Is not intimidated by high Whitefly densities l

Sample Strategies l Basic l l l Rules; Don’t Panic Identify correctly Consider physical Sample Strategies l Basic l l l Rules; Don’t Panic Identify correctly Consider physical situation Don’t ignore history Keep an annual diary

Turning a “Problem” into an “Opportunity” Chronically infested plants can become “indicator” plants for Turning a “Problem” into an “Opportunity” Chronically infested plants can become “indicator” plants for easier scouting, or, “Banker” plants for control strategies. l Example: Whitefly; use these plants to determine when Whitefly begins, then focus your Encarsia and Delphastus on them. You will begin to generate large numbers of Beneficials that will disperse. l Example: Spider Mite; use these plants to determine when Spider Mites are breaking dormancy. Treat them with Phytoseiulus persimilis or S. punctillum. If using P. p. , begin dispersing leaves when control is evident. l

Bamboo Mite Infestation Apply Amblyseius fallacis on infected plants: 500 per plant l Apply Bamboo Mite Infestation Apply Amblyseius fallacis on infected plants: 500 per plant l Apply any time of year l Control will occur in the following year; most of the predation is on the ground, over winter l

Spider mites on Trees Apply A. fallacis to affected areas: Rate 2000 per tree Spider mites on Trees Apply A. fallacis to affected areas: Rate 2000 per tree l Apply Hypoaspis miles around tree base: Rate 1000 / sq meter l Control occurs in following year l

Black-vine Root Weevil Apply H. miles around base of plant: Rate 2500 per sq Black-vine Root Weevil Apply H. miles around base of plant: Rate 2500 per sq meter l Apply any time of year l Control occurs in following year l