Bug Wars

Bug Wars

Anywhere there are plants, there are bugs. Whether it’s in a pristine forest, field of corn, pot of flowers, vegetable garden, or greenhouse full of plants, bugs are attempting to invade. In the past chemical pest control has been the only dependable method to control the unwanted invaders. Over the years many insects have developed resistance to chemical pesticides so control has become increasingly difficult. That, along with the thought that we all want to cut out as much unnecessary contact with chemicals, has caused a search for new and effective ways to control greenhouse pests and disease.

In an effort to cut back on chemical pesticide use, we have for years been using beneficial fungi to control diseases on plants. These have worked as well and maybe better than conventional control methods. Over the past several years I’ve been looking into using beneficial insects to control pest insects in the greenhouse. While there were many bugs that would eat the bad bugs there was no clear program on how to use them. After talking to many people in the bug field, I feel confident in turning my pest control responsibilities in the greenhouse over to the good bugs.

In this war of bugs we’ve enlisted many little heroes, predatory nematodes, mites, beetles, bugs, and parasitic wasps to fight and devour our evil foes, thrips, aphids, and spider mites. So far the battle is going well on all fronts. The plants are safe from the evil invaders, and you and I don’t have to worry about extra unnecessary contact with chemical pesticides. Keep in mind the next time your visiting our greenhouse that while everything may seem lovely and peaceful, there’s a war going on.