Beneficial Insects

for Greenhouse , Nursery , Farm , Orchard , and Garden


Preface :

There are many insects that are beneficial to the environment.

Listed below, are a few that can be purchased for the control

of undesireable insects. BEFORE you purchase any of these.

Check with your local agricultural extension service, to see

if they are allowed in the area that you live.




Biological Grasshopper Control :A natural spore called Nosema Locustae which infects 90 species of grasshoppers and crickets. The spore is pre-mixed on bran and spread by hand. Diseased grasshoppers are cannibalized by uninfected grasshoppers which become infected and die. 50% control in 2-4 weeks. Control carries over at least another year. 1 lb. of bait will treat 1 acre.


Decollate Snail : Rumina decollata. This killer snail feeds on all stages of brown garden snails, providing 100% control. It will also reduce slug populations by 50%. It does not feed on plants. Release 3 snails per 100 sq. ft. or 5 per large tree. Do not release in counties north of Santa Barbara, CA  and the Tehachapis.


Fly Parasite :Muscidifurax zaraptor, Spanglia. Female fly parasites lay their eggs inside the pest fly pupae and the resulting fly parasite larvae consume the pest pupae insides. Release 5 parasites per cu.ft. of manure/compost pile to 500 for a large animal like a cow or horse.


Nematodes Feltiae :Steinernema feltiae. Ideally suited to combat insects in and on the soil and those that bore into wood, trees and shrubs.  Actively hunting fleas, fungus gnats, black vine weevils, white grubs, plus 200 more. Not harmful to people, pets, plants or earthworms. Work  for 18 months. Apply anytime soil is not frozen by spreading by hand over infested area and water.   To control boring insects, prepare a water suspension and spray of inject into burrows. Control begins 24 hours after application. One pint treats 200-400 sq.ft.


Lacewing :Chrysoperia rufilabris. As primary aphid killers, lacewings feed also on citrus mealybugs,  cotton scale, spider mites, thrips, caterpillars, insect eggs, and more. Release 2,000 lacewings per 2,500 sq. ft. twice at 2 week intervals. Larvae and adults are also available.


Lady Beetle :Hippodamia convergens. Feeds primarily on aphids but will attack other soft-bodied  insects such as mites, leafhoppers and mealybugs. They will eat eggs, larvae and adults. They store well in the refrigerator. Use 4,500 Lady Beetles per 3,000 sq. ft.


Mealybug Destroyer :Cryptolaemus montrouzieri. All mealybug stages are destroyed by both adult and larval forms of this predator. Most active in spring at 70° F or above. Use 2 to 5 per infested plant.


Minute Pirate Bug :Orinus sp. Use for broad spectrum consumption of  thrips, mites, scales,  whiteflies, aphids, leafhoppers plus eggs and larval stages  of many soft-bodied insects such as small caterpillars. Nymphs are also  voracious eaters. Release 2,000 to 4,000 per acre.


Praying Mantis :Tenodora aridifolia sinensis. Attacks just about any insect that it encounters. Eggs hatch in 3 to 4 weeks at 75°F. Young man-tises disperse into the foliage upon hatching. One egg case yields 200 adults which mature in 5-6 months. Adults typically deposit 1 to 5 cases.


Predatory Mite :Phytoseiulus persimilis. These attack only plant feeding mites and do not feed on plants. They work best at 60% relative humidity between 70° and 100°F, as a general mite predator. Release 1-2 mites per infested leaf, 20-30 per med. size plant or 1-5 predators per 5-10 pest mites.


Trichogramma :T. pretiosum. (field crops), T.minimum (orchards), T.platneri (avocados). These tiny  wasps destroy the eggs of 200 species of larval-stage, leaf-eating moths and butterflies such as  armyworm, bagworm, coddling moths and others. Shipped in squares of 5,000. One square treats 5,000 sq. ft.


White Fly Parasite :Encarsia formosa. A tiny wasp attracted by the honey-dew produced by whiteflies. Encarsia lays eggs in all whitefly instars, parasitizing and killing them. Use 1 to 4 parasites per sq. ft. of infested areas. Shipped as mature pupae in host eggs.


Whitefly Predatory Beetle :Delphastus pusillus. Used to control both sweet potato and greenhouse whitefly on poinsettia and other crops. Voracious feeders on eggs and nymphs. Also feeds on mites. Release 400 to 1,000/acre.


Aphid Controls :Aphidius colemani or A. maticariae are tiny wasps which are aphid endorparasites. Eggs laid in aphids' bodies hatch and consume aphids from within. Excellent for green peach aphids. Aphidletes aphidomyza is an aphid midge that provides control of 60 species of aphids by paralyzing and eating them. Not compatible with nematodes.


Fungas Gnat Controls :Heterorhabditis bacteriophora is a larval parasitic nematode that works by entering the host insect and releasing a bacterium that kills the host. Controls over 100 species inhabiting insects such as fungus gnats, cutworms, Japanese beetles, blackvine weevils and others. A 50/50  mixture of this nematode with Steinernema carpocapsae is available at the same price.


Scale Insect Control :Aphytis melinus is a small ectoparasitic wasp used to control the California red scale, yellow scale, San Jose scale, ivy scale and dictyospermum scale. Harmonia axyridis is commonly known as the multicolored Asian lady beetle. It is valued for its control of scales over aphids. Laboratory reared. Lindoris lophanthae is a small beetle predator that controls both soft and armored scales, especially black scales. May also control mealybugs.


Spidermite Control :Amblyseius fallacis is a pyrethrin-resistant strain that controls 2-spotted mites, European red mite, Spruce mite, citrus red mite and others. It hunts and eats its prey.



Thrips Control :Ambylseius cucumeris is a tiny mite controlling several species of thrips such as western flower thrips and onion thrips. Also controls cyclamen and broad mites. Hypoaspis miles is a tiny soil dwelling mite which works as a soil-pupating thrips predator. Also works on fungus gnats. Orius insidiosus, also known as minute pirate bug, has a preference for thrips over other insect groups. It is, however, a general feeder and will eat aphids, mites, whitefly pupae, immature scales, mealybugs, insect eggs and more.