"A World of Flowers"

 

 

Beneficial Insects

Ladybugs - Green Lacewing - Praying Mantis Eggs - Beneficial Nematodes - Mosquito Dunks

Ladybugs

Description: Used to control aphids, grasshoppers, scales, mites and mealybugs in bushes, shade trees, greenhouses or gardens.

Ladybug Release Guidelines:

  • Put the container in a cool place (refrigerator) until late evening or early morning.
  • Do not release the Ladybugs during the heat of the day or while the sun is shining.
  • Ladybugs should be released when the plants have become partially enfoliated, which will provide coverage, and some pest insects are present, which will provide food.
  • In order to achieve biological control of insects try to maintain a balance of a few pests for food and enough Ladybugs to keep them in check, being careful not to release too many Ladybugs at one time.
  • Sprinkle or irrigate the area before releasing the Ladybugs so they will have a drink of water after their journey.
  • Ladybugs should be released a few at a time twice a week during the season when leaves are young, tender and attractive to pest insects.
  • Apply 1 tablespoon on each shrub and a handful on each tree to keep them free from pest damage.
  • For heavy infestation, release all the Ladybugs at one time.

Storage:

Ladybugs may be stored in your refrigerator for up to two weeks. DO NOT FREEZE. After first application close and restore in refrigerator until all Ladybugs are released.


Green Lacewing

Description: These delicate predators consume aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, leafhopper nymphs, caterpillar eggs, scales, thrips, and whiteflies.

Relative Effectiveness: These lacewing larvae are considered generalist beneficials but are best known as aphid predators. The larvae are sometimes called aphid lions, and have been reported to eat between 100 and 600 aphids each, although they may have difficulty finding prey in crops with hairy or sticky leaves.

Once the larvae emerge, they will feed for 1-3 weeks before they become adults. The adults eat only honey, pollen, and nectar, which they need to reproduce. Repeated releases may be necessary if the infestation has not been arrested 5 - 7 days after the larvae have emerged.

Release Guidelines: Hatch Lacewing eggs at room temperature. They come in a small cup mixed with rice hulls. If some of the eggs are turning grey or you see any microscopic movement, it means they're starting to hatch, and you should release them immediately. If there's no activity yet, you should leave the containers at room temperature until movement is seen. Lacewing larvae are grey-brown in color and very tiny. For best results, release the lacewing eggs and larvae in you garden soon after hatching. Eggs and larvae can be hand sprinkled wherever desired. One way to distribute lacewing eggs and larvae is with a pill bottle with a small 1/8-1/4" hole in the cap. It's best to start early in the season with a relatively low number of lacewings, then increase as more pests appear. Once the peak pest infestation period has passed, release can be decreased and eventually stopped. Lacewings should be reintroduced in the spring, as they overwinter with difficulty.


Praying Mantis Eggs

Description: Praying Mantis have a voracious appetite which helps to control garden insect pests the organic way. Being strictly carnivorous they feed on almost any insect of a size it can overcome. In the fall, the females produce egg cases, which she deposits in a frothy secretion that hardens to protect the eggs from any predators and severe winter climates. The egg cases are then attached to twigs, leaves, fences etc. Egg cases are harvested and carefully checked to ensure that quality cases are selected for our customers.

Praying Mantis Release Guidelines:

  • In order to hatch the eggs they will need several weeks of warm weather.
  • Attach Praying Mantis egg case to a twig or plant about a foot or two off the ground where there is cover to protect the babies. Once hatching starts the babies will emerge and disperse (it is very difficult to know when hatching has occurred unless the elusive, well-camouflaged young are found.) The young will crawl from between tiny flaps in the cases and hang from silken threads about 2 inches below the case when hatching. The egg case doesn't change in appearance in any way.
  • After drying out, the long-legged young disperse into the vegetation leaving little evidence of their appearance.
  • If you want to observe the hatching, place the egg case in a paper bag, folding the top and paper clip. Place the bag on a windowsill in direct sunlight. Periodically open the bag carefully and if already hatched, take outside and release.
  • Be patient because sometimes it takes up to 8 weeks of warm weather for them to hatch.
  • Once hatched, Praying Mantis begins feeding on small insects. Later on they will continue advancing up to larger and larger prey.

Beneficial Nematodes

Description: Beneficial Nematodes are microscopic, non-segmented worms that occur naturally in soil all around the world. They prey on ants, termites and the larva and grub stages of various beetles, weevils, army worms, cutworms, chafers, webworms, borers, maggots, fleas, ticks, fungus gnats (sciarid flies), to name a few. Once they are released, the nematodes seek out host insects and enter their prey through body openings and emit an endo-toxin that results in death for the host insect within 48 hours. The nematodes reproduce and their offspring feed on the insect cadaver and emerge to seek out new hosts.

Nematodes Release Guidelines: They are packed in a formulation that you mix with water. The solution can be applied using a watering can; hose end, backpack, or pump sprayers; or through irrigation or misting systems. Always release early in the morning or late afternoon when temperatures are cooler. This vial of Beneficial Nematodes will effectively treat approximately 1600 sq. ft. of conventional garden rows. If less than 1600 sq. ft. needs to be treated, use of a proportionate amount of the formula. Treat every 3-6 weeks or until infestation subsides. Nematodes can be stored in the refrigerator (do not freeze) for up to 2 months.

Flea Control: Apply liberally over area around where pet sleeps or frequents, using a garden sprayer of alternate method of dispersion. Less than 5% of the flea population are adults at any one time. Nematodes hunt and destroy pre-adult flea stages that live in the soil until maturity, when they seek a blood meal from you or your pet. Control begins within 24 hours of treatment and lasts for up to several months.


Mosquito Dunks

Bt israliensis is highly effective against mosquito larvae and black fly larvae. Can be used wherever mosquitoes breed; the periphery of ponds, lakes, flooded orchards, ditches, pastures, sewage or animal waste lagoons, roof gutters, run-off areas, and so on.

Mosquito Dunks float on water and will keep on working for 30 days or longer under typical environmental conditions. While floating, they slowly release a long-term, biological mosquito larvicide at the water's surface. This larvicide gradually settles in the water where it is eaten by mosquito larvae growing there. Mosquito Dunks may be used in all types of standing water sites where mosquito larvae grow. Alternate wetting and drying will not reduce their effectiveness.

Use one Mosquito Dunk for up to 100 square feet of water surface, regardless of depth. They can be used whole or broken into portions and applied to containerized standing water found near the home such as:

  • bird baths
  • flower pots
  • tree holes
  • rain barrels and roof gutters
  • unused swimming pools
  • old automobile tires
  • water gardens

Use the following table to determine the quantity to be used.

Surface Area of Standing Water

Use Quantities

1 to 5 square ft

1/4 Dunk

5 to 25 square ft

1/2 Dunk

25 to 100 square ft

1 Dunk

Above 100 square ft

1 Dunk/100 sq. ft.

 

Hazards to Humans: Avoid contact with eyes or open wounds.
Environmental Hazards: Do not apply directly to treated, finished drinking water reservoirs or drinking water receptacles.

 

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Phone: (425) 481-7565 or (360) 668-9575