APHID PARASITES 

DESCRIPTION  Effective biological control for aphids! This tiny parasitic wasp (A. colemani) hones in on its prey by sensing the distress signals of infested plants as well as detecting the aphid’s honeydew secretions. Once there, it injects an egg into the aphid. When the egg hatches, the larvae begin to consume the pest from inside. … Continue reading APHID PARASITES 

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APHID PREDATOR

DESCRIPTION    In its larval stages, Aphidoletes aphidimyza is a voracious aphid killer. The more aphids present, the more it will consume. Also known as the gall midge, it’s known to feed on some 60 types of aphids. It’s a popular means of aphid control in greenhouses. Basically night feeders, the larvae hide on the undersides of … Continue reading APHID PREDATOR

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BENEFICIAL NEMATODES

DESCRIPTION  Parasitic nematodes seek out insects harmful to garden plants, shrubs and trees in their soil-borne stages and destroy them from the inside out. Present in soils throughout the world, these microscopic, non-segmented worms destroy over 200 types of insects that mature in the ground, including weevils, Japanese beetles, fleas, borers and fungus gnats, before … Continue reading BENEFICIAL NEMATODES

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BUMBLEBEES

DESCRIPTION    Bumblebees are large, fuzzy, very hairy insects that are black and yellow colored or in some species orange or red. Size varies by species but adults may be up to a little over one inch long. They differ from carpenter bees, which have a solid black, shiny and hairless abdomen. Bumblebees have a … Continue reading BUMBLEBEES

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FLY PREDATORS

DESCRIPTION These tiny fly predators are nature’s first line of defense against nuisance flies — including the common housefly. The female predator seeks out a host pupa, drills through its cocoon, and lays several eggs inside it. The resulting parasitoids kill the pupa by consuming it. The adult stage of this popular biological fly control … Continue reading FLY PREDATORS

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FUNGUS GNAT PREDATORS 

DESCRIPTION    Root-feeding fungus gnats can be especially damaging to plant seedlings, inhibiting growth and transmitting disease. The fungus gnat killer, Hypoaspis miles, is a tiny, brown soil mite that feeds on fungus gnat larvae as well as thrips, springtails, and other soil-borne larvae. The adult predator, with its long legs and finely-haired back, punctures the larvae … Continue reading FUNGUS GNAT PREDATORS 

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GREEN LACEWING

DESCRIPTION    Despite its beautiful, poetic name, the green lacewing (Chrysoperla rufilabris) is deadly to almost any soft-bodied insect pest and its eggs. In its adult stage, it lives up to its name, feeding only on nectar and pollen. In its larval stage — when it’s known as the “aphid lion” or “aphid wolf” —  … Continue reading GREEN LACEWING

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LADY BUGS

DESCRIPTION  Ladybugs are also called lady beetles or, in Europe, ladybird beetles. There are about 5,000 different species of these insects, and not all of them have the same appetites. A few ladybugs prey not on plant-eaters but on plants. The Mexican bean beetle and the squash beetle are destructive pests that prey upon the … Continue reading LADY BUGS

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LEAF MINER PARASITES

DESCRIPTION    Damage from leaf miner larvae — the tunnels or mines that scroll across leaves — is easy to spot. The leafminer parasite (Diglyphus isaea) is a small, black, non-stinging wasp that searches out leaf miners on which to lay its egg. The wasp kills the leaf miner as it lays its egg, and … Continue reading LEAF MINER PARASITES

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MEALYBUG DESTROYER

DESCRIPTION  Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, also known as “Crypts” or “Mealybug Destroyers” and the name says it all. Like ladybugs, C. montrouzieri are ladybug beetles. Unlike their relative, though, these beetles are not wild-collected, do not aggregate and do not disappear just after release. Crypts, with their shiny black body and dull-orange head and thorax, definitely prefer … Continue reading MEALYBUG DESTROYER

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