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Beneficial Insects - General Predators

September 21, 2011 - GrowOrganic
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Roll out the floral carpet in your garden to attract beneficial insects and keep them there. In our new video Tricia talks about releasing predator beneficial insects into your garden as organic pest control. To make those beneficials happy you need to have some bad bugs present for them to munch on, and also flowers they will enjoy at various stages of their lives. FLOWERS & FOOD FOR BENEFICIAL INSECTS In general, beneficials like flowers that look like daisies or Queen Anne’s Lace, according…
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Video Transcript
Hi I'm Tricia a California organic gardener. Have you ever wished that you had some garden fairies to help you with your insect pests. Well today I'm going to introduce you to some they're called beneficial insects.

The kind of beneficial insects that i'm gonna release today are the general predator type, you're familiar with them: lady bags, praying mantids and green lacewings and these garden fairies will eat just about any pesky insect in your garden. Release the ladybugs either in the early morning or in the cool of the evening and never in the direct sunlight in the middle of the day and you can release them as soon as you have some foliage on your plants and you can release them all throughout the season. Sprinkle or water the area that you're going to release them, they may be thirsty after their long trip. You also don't have to release all of them at the same time you can release a few and then refrigerate the rest and use them in other areas as needed. Praying mantids are another general predator and they come in this little egg case. They don't go after pests like lady bugs do they prefer to sit it and ambush them. The baby mantids will hatch all throughout the season but you want to put them out in early spring. Just use a needle and thread to hang your egg case in the garden and they'll stick around as long as there's enough food for them to eat and they eat anything that's smaller than them You wanna hang in about two feet from the ground and you can put a little cooking oil on the string to prevent the ants from getting to it. Green lacewing larva are probably one of the best general predators available. Green lacewing larva eat aphids, thrips, mealybugs, whiteflies, spider mites and the list goes on. A single larva can eat as many as two hundred pets in one day. It's best to release the lacewing larva early in the season or any time of year in the greenhouse these lacewing larva are almost microscopic and they come packaged in these rice hulls release them immediately upon receipt or else they might eat each other. If you order the lace wing eggs they'll arrive and they'll be about three to five days away from hatching. When you see these little green eggs start to turn gray there just about ready to hatch and thats time to release them again you want to release the lacing larva and egg during the early morning or the cool of the evening. The adult lacewing can feed on nectar and pollen so if you want them to stick around and lay their eggs in your garden make sure you have some flowers for them to feed on. Your beneficial insects will help you the most if you release them early in the season before there's any major pest problem. So let your garden fairies help you and grow organic for life!

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Categories: Beneficial Insects, Ladybugs


John Babicz Says:
Sep 22nd, 2011 at 4:36 pm

I use BT to help curtail damaging insects. If I release beneficial insects into my garden must I stop using BT?

Heather Vestre Says:
Sep 23rd, 2011 at 10:54 am

You must top using chemicals as soon as possible!  Typically your benificials are affected worse than your pests, as the pests develop a resistance to them, whereas the benificials do not.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Sep 24th, 2011 at 12:30 pm

John and Heather,

Here is a recently updated article from Colorado State University Extension about using Bt http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05556.html

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