Last blog I wrote about controlling harmful insects using pesticides and an Integrated Pest Management approach. A necessary part of any IPM program is the use of beneficial insects. Think of them as your own little army fighting for a pest free grow-room 24/7/365. Having released thousands, yes thousands of Hippodamia convergens (ladybugs) in my grow-room I will say I became more comfortable with insects crawling on me but 99% of the time they were on the job, on a search and destroy mission for any pest intruder attempting to sabotage my garden. There are lots of beneficial insects to choose from but you must match the pest to the predator, although many predators are not picky and will eat a variety of harmful insects. Using the chart below you can easily match the kind of insect problem you may be experiencing with the correct predatory insect.
Some interesting facts regarding these insects are:
- You never should worry about your beneficial insects eating your plants as they will only feed on harmful insects
- One Lady Bug may eat 5,000 aphids in 1 year
- Green Lacewings will eat 200 aphids a week
- Spider mite destroyers will eat 40 mites a day
- Predatory Nematodes will kill over 250 different types of insects