Biocontrols Conference (2017) – Advanced Biocontrol Workshop Notes

Posted on Categories Growers, Integrated Pest Management, Notes, Programs


Doug Barrow

Biological Crop Protection Specialist, Biobest USA Inc.

Kelly Vance

Technical Support, Beneficial Insectary

Ronald Valentin

Technical Lead, Bioline AgroSciences

Suzanne Wainwright-Evans

Ornamental Entomologist, Buglady Consulting

Tim Engelkes

R&D Entomology, Koppert Biological Systems Inc.


Basic Tools for Quality Control of Biocontrol

Application, QC, and Storage Tips on Predatory Mites

Amblyseius Mites

Amblyseius andersoni

Neoseiulus (Amblyseius) californicus

Neoseiulus (Amblyseius) fallacis

Phytoseiulus persimilis

Amblyseius swirskii

Neoseiulus cucumeris

Hypoaspis miles / Stratiolaelaps scimitus

Chrysoperla carnea

Aphidoletes aphidimyza

Aphelinus abdominalis and Aphidius sp

Cryptolaemus montrouzieri

Dalotia (Atheta) coriaria (aka rove beetle)

Orius spp

Dicyphus hesperus

Encarsia formosa / Eretmocerus eremicus

Diglyphus isaea

Beneficial nematodes


Basic tools recommended for quality control of biocontrol:

Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, Buglady Consulting

  • Aspirator
  • Extra vials
  • Hand lens
  • Pop-up cage
  • Quality Control Manual; Vineland Research and Innovation Center
  • Petri Dishes

Quality Control Supplies

Application, Quality Control, and Storage Tips on Predatory Mites

Ronald Valentin, Bioline AgroSciences

Historically, a lot of changes on how to distribute them:

  • Before 1989, there were no sachet systems available. All predator mites were broadcasted (mostly in vegetable crops)
  • A lot of these predator mites don’t do well without prey or pollen
  • They do not fly; distribution, therefore, is very important
  • All Amblyseius species are very hard (impossible) to ID in the crop. One exception – Amblyseius degenerans
  • Eggs of Amblyseius spp often found on leaf hairs
  • P. persimilis ONLY feeds on twospotted spider mites (TSSM) -> specialist, not available in sachets
  • Amblyseius more generalist (thrips L1, broad mites, TSSM, whitefly eggs) and many can feed on pollen
  • Carrier P. persimilis typically fine vermiculite

Do NOT use gas powered blowers; they are too powerful and you literally tear your mites to pieces.

  • Smaller, battery-operated blowers can work, if they broadcast (rather than sachets)
  • Not Valentin’s favorite method (broadcast), but it can be more cost effective than sachets

Some people will use breeder piles

  • Same product that goes in sachets but packed in bulk
  • Longevity shorter compared to sachets
  • Cost effective for smaller pot sizes or plugs

Now also have mini-sachets; make it more cost-effective to put one in every hanging basket

Now have “bugline” – strip of sachets where every third sachet or so has mites in it, and the strip allows mites to climb across to different plants

What is in the sachet?

  • Bran (heat sterilized)
  • Prey mites (bran mites)
  • Food for the prey mites
  • Predator mites (1:10 ratio) (i.e. for every Amblyseius mite, there’s 10 prey mites)
  • Culture


Bran mite species used is different depending on the predator species.

Sachet’s are now water proof and the hole is at the bottom of the sachet. Hole is very small to prevent water damage to the sachets. Can be used indoor and outdoors.

  • Sachets in the basket do better than sachets outside the basket; the moisture from the pot helps feed the fungus in the sachets that feeds the bran mites

Bottles of persimilis should be stored/shipped horizontally. They tend to walk “upwards” and there’s more surface area if you put the bottle horizontally.


Quality check at arrival:

  • Look at bottle size (volume) and # of mites
  • Determine ratio volume vs number of mites -> 2k / 30mL = 67 mites per 1 mL, etc.
  • Let bottle get to room temperature (if it was shipped in cold storage)
  • Bottles always need to be stored horizontally
  • Make sure mites are evenly distributed in carrier -> roll the bottle (don’t shake)
  • Determine sample size (1, 2.5, or 5mL), multiple samples
  • Sprinkle carrier lightly over white tray or paper with good light above it
  • Count by destructive sampling (i.e. kill them as you see them)
  • Determine average and multiply by bottle volume = results

Small bottle very good for hotspots;

  • Can install nipple. Rest nipple on leaf hotspot and mites will crawl out onto the leaf (3 – 5 seconds). Has very little carrier

Consider techniques to get mites on the plant, rather than the floor

  • Disadvantage of broadcast with blower, many of your mites may end up on the floor. What percentage actually end up on the plant?
  • One technique is to spread newspaper (one layer) on the plants, broadcast, then remove newspaper the next day.
    • Won’t work if carrier has prey mites, because the predator mites may just stay on top of the newspaper rather than going down below on the plant

Amblyseius Mites

Ronald Valentin, Bioline AgroSciences

Quality check at arrival and longer:

  • spp very similar color to bran, so hard to see them in the sachet
  • Take several sachets or scoop of bulk product and run test through sieve
  • Sieve tests (1 mm) out most of the bran (or vermiculite)
  • Ratio between predatory mite and bran mite should be 1:10
  • For exact count take exact volume
  • Sieve technique captures approximately 60% (still have about 40% of the mites above the sieve)
  • Split amount and make multiplication
    • Want to see different life stages of the mite
  • Life span of sachet is harder to determine
    • Run out test
    • Binder clips and sticky cards
    • Use binder clip to hold card up vertically, under greenhouse conditions
    • Place binder clip on yellow sticky card
    • Check daily and count numbers to get an idea of longevity of the sachet
    • Last different lengths of time depending on temperature; gives an idea of frequency of application as well
  • Do NOT make sachet holes bigger; moisture will be lost from the small hole and will dry out.

Storage: Do not store in low humidity areas

Amblyseius andersoni

Predator mite

  • Preys on all stage of TSSM
  • Also preys on broad mites, cyclamen mite, tomato russet mite, hemp russet mite
  • Side effect on thrips (approx half of what cucumeris and swirksii do)
  • Can survive on pollen
  • Can be used in a wide range of crops
  • Active between 43 – 104ºF
  • Survives dry circumstances and less food

Early is key in protection – NGI vs broad mites:

  • By the time we see damage, we are way too late
  • A pro-active approach is critical if you want to do something with biological control
  • Same thing happens with thrips; if you have a large population of thrips, you are already behind for biological control

When plants start to touch, you don’t have to do one sachet per plant

Neoseiulus (Amblyseius) californicus

Doug Barrow, Biobest USA Inc.

  • Twospotted spider mites, board mites, carmen mites, etc.
  • Generalist predator on many crops
  • Feeds on all stages of mites
  • High temp and low humidity predation
  • Feeds and sustains on pollen
  • Survives for long periods of time (20 days) without food or resources
  • Able to build-up a population with low pest pressure
  • Over time, californicus will overtake P. persimilis by eating their eggs under low spider mite populations
  • Reproduces faster while feeding on TSSM compared to pollen or other prey
  • More tolerant to chemicals compared to some of the other beneficials

Few different kinds of applicators available to broadcast them


  • 1 – 0.2 /ft2 preventatively

Lay bottles down horizontally

Do not open packages and leave them open in the greenhouse

Neoseiulus (Amblyseius) fallacis

Doug Barrow, Biobest USA Inc.

  • Spidermite predator with wide range of prey
  • Twspotted spider mite, pacific mites, spruce spidermites, bamboo mites, european red mites, lewis mites
  • Generalist predator of many crops
  • Feeds on all stages of pest
  • Feeds and sustains on pollen
  • Survives for long periods of time (>2 weeks)
  • Compatible with other predatory mites
  • Able to build up population throughout a season

Cold tolerant predator mite

Can overwinter

Typically used early or late in the season

  • 50 – 85 F reproduction & development
  • 50% RH

Similar application methods to californicus, except don’t have sachets

  • Preventative: 5 – 10 per m2, monthly in susceptible/suspicious areas
  • Light curative: 10 – 30 / m2, 2-4x releases on infested plants and hot spots
  • High curative: 30 or higher/m2, 3-4x

What is considered a “light” or “high” threshold level for curative?

Phytoseiulus persimilis

Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, Buglady Consulting

  • Have very long legs. Easy to find when you release them out in a crop
  • When you release predators, you need to make sure they are doing their job!
    • When scouting, look for their eggs. Predatory mite eggs are often laid right next to twospotted spider mite eggs. A bit bigger and more oblong than twospotted spider mite eggs, and a bit lighter in color
  • Will typically feed on the eggs, suck them dry
    • Will find these “deflated” eggs on the leaves

Most growers don’t have time to count/sample for quality control

  • Put bottle on its side, and you can see the mites running on the top side of the bottle
  • Mix bottle back up by spinning to get a nice homogenous mixture
  • Thinks the vial is underutilized by the industry
    • Small bottles are much cheaper in terms of shipping
    • If you are doing vegetable crops and don’t want carrier on the plants, the smaller bottle with the nipple works much better


If you HAVE to store them:

  • Best if >65% humidity
  • Store at 50 – 59ºF
  • Store horizontally


  • Warm to room temperature
  • Roll bottle to incorporate

Did you know?

  • Females can not lay eggs without mating
  • Females out number males (4 to 1)
  • Can eat 5 adult spider mites a day, or many immature mites and eggs
  • Female persimilis can lay 5 eggs a day
  • Live on average 50 days
  • Do not want to maintain a population, because that means you still have a good TSSM population in your crop
    • Knockdown pop of TSSM

Start to struggle below 60% humidity

  • Under optimum conditions persimilis development rate is 2x the rate of twospotted spider mite
    • Hence why they can be such effective managers
  • Persimilis are blind; they do not need light to find prey.

Persimilis are attracted to areas where spider mite feeding damage has occurred

  • Can get non-consumptive effects on twospotted spider mite due to presence of P. persimilis

Does not always work well on plants with long hairs (i.e. trichomes), like tomatoes

Very sensitive to pesticides

Always check compatibility, spray and drench

Amblyseius swirskii

Tim Engelkes, Koppert Biological Systems Inc.

  • Life cycle:
    1. Egg, larva3, protonymph, deutonymph, adult
  • Prefers temperatures 20 – 28ºC and 70% RH
  • Eggs don’t survive the lower humidity. Flatten and die or do not hatch
  • swirskii performance increases when there’s whitefly AND thrips (lot of protein source and broader diet) compared to thrips only
  • In crop:
    • Standard scout for swirskii
    • Monitor oviposition in particular
    • Visit same spot for 4 weeks
  • Need to see how they are doing in the crop after introduction
  • They typically hang out the leaf veins, especially in the crevices of the veins

Come in different types of packaging:

  • Sachets, boxes, bottles, etc.
  • Air flow is important to get CO2 out


  • Roughly 250 mites in a sachet
  • Population build up in sachet
  • Over time 700 swirskii from 1 sachet
  • Anticipation with numbers in mind
  • Scout, scout and scout


– bulk on new crop if interplant

  • Sachets 1 week later
  • Every 4th week for overlap
  • Halfway/lower half of the crop


  • No direct sunlight
  • Mites actively search for prey; >16ºC
  • Avoid midday introduction
  • Avoid contact with irrigation


  • Fan distribution
  • Mix multiple mite species
  • Ideal for bedding plants
  • Some research on using drones for distribution

Neoseiulus cucumeris

Tim Engelkes, Koppert Biological Systems Inc.

  • Also phytoseiidae
  • 5 life stages, 20 – 25ºC, >70% RH
  1. cucumeris will attack eggs and 1st instar thrips
  2. swirskii will attach eggs, 1st, and 2nd instar thrips

Packaged similar to swirskii. Vermiculite bottles or sachets


  • Not often 1 size fits all
    • Whitefly numbers
    • Thrips numbers
    • Scout, scout and scout
    • Environmental conditions
  • Very general rates
    • Preventative: 50/m^2, curative light: 100/m^2, curative heavy: 100/m^2

Hypoaspis miles / Stratiolaelaps scimitus

Tim Engelkes, Koppert Biological Systems Inc.

  • Predator mite
  • Laelapidae, mesostigmata
  • Look very different on a leaf, on soil, or paper. Need to learn/practice identifying them in the crop, especially for scimitus, because it sits in the soil
  • Prey preference depends on availability of the prey:
    • Used mostly for sciarid fly larvae (fungus gnats), thrips pupae, and can feed on springtails, nematodes, leaf miner pupae
  • 5 life stages. 25ºC. 12 days. Low moisture, 32 eggs on sciarid, 8 prey items/day

Package QC:

  • Gently shake the bottle and spread it out on paper and count
  • Put some double-sided sticky tape around it

In crop:

  • Always check in the crop!
  • Check activity in substrate
  • Scout, regular counts on standardized area
  • Scout pest too (dependent)
  • Are predator numbers increasing? Are pest numbers going down?
    • There may be an alternate food source that they are feeding on rather than your pest of interest


  • On top of substrate/soil
  • Do not mix in substrate
  • All life stages are present
  • Population build-up is prey-type dependent


  • Different types, but in the end, in all comes out in a similar fashion

Do NOT store; some will die as a result

  • Can place in fridge for 1 day, cold fridge, dark; will result in some mortality
  • EXCEPTION: if it’s really hot outside, you may want to store for a day until it’s a bit cooler.

Side effects:

  • Many ways to check. Apps by biobest, koppert, and bioline
  • Can “ask us”
  • Will give rating for different life stages of your beneficials and ALSO the persistence (in weeks)
  • In hydroponics, it flushes out much faster, but in soil, it persists longer

Chrysoperla carnea

Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, Buglady Consulting


  • Adults
  • Larva in a bottle
  • Larva in frames; Wainwright does not find frames practical for our industry
  • Eggs on cards
  • Eggs loose

Page 11 in quality control guide talks about the green lacewings


  • Determine volume of package
  • Mix material well
  • Take out 30 mL sample
  • Spread on white paper or tray
  • Count larvae
  • Repeat 3 times
  • Calculate the average number of larvae per sample
  • Mean # of larvae

Only do this if you think you have a problem… or if you have nothing else to do

Quality control on egg cards

  • Place card on sticky card
  • Wait a week
  • Count larva on sticky card


Egg cards are basically a “slow release”, won’t work immediately.

Larva containers will act immediately/much quicker response


  • 43-50F
  • Bottles lay on sides

82 F, takes about 25 days egg to adult

50F constant will not develop

95F and over can be fatal

Interesting facts:

  • Can eat 300-400 aphids during its development
  • 75% of prey consumed is in the last larval instar
  • The hairy the leaf, the harder for them to find their prey

Will also feed on spider mite eggs

  • Suck them down very quickly

Can help suppress some mealybug species

Aphidoletes aphidimyza

Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, Buglady Consulting

  • Feed on aphids
  • Can come packaged in bottles, blister packs, etc.
  • Getting the pupal stage in the bottle and blister package, because their wings could be damaged in transport

Type of midge

  • Extremely good predator on aphids

Can find the larva in the landscape wherever you find aphid populations

They suck aphids dry

QC: page 9 of quality control manual

Storage: 43 – 46F

Interesting facts:

  • Adults are nocturnal
  • In the daytime the adults often hang near ground, sometimes in spider webs
  • Must mate to produce offspring
  • Eggs are laid only where there is food
  • Adults need to feed (honeydew) fewer eggs if not
  • Larvae injects paralyzing toxin into aphid
  • 10 – 100 aphids can be consumed by larvae, more in the last instar
  • Will randomly kill aphids (nonconsumptive effects)
  • Pupate in soil, top 1 cm: ebb and flow benches will make it more difficult for them to pupate
  • Make silken cocoon covered with soil debris


  • Swirskii will feed on eggs of aphidoletes

Cucumeris will ALSO feed on eggs of aphidoletes

Aphelinus abdominalis and Aphidius sp

Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, Buglady Consulting

  • All companies use a very different carrier
  • Biobest gives bottles with NO carrier – just a bunch of mummies
  • Open the bottle and they are ready to go
  • Some people hang bottles out to keep slow release going
  • Koppert uses carrier

Quality control on page 7 of QC manual

  • Distinguish males from females
    • Females have pointier abdomen (ovipositor) compared to males
    • Looking at female:male ratio is important, because only females will cause the parasitization
  • Mated females lay male and female eggs
  • Unmated females lay male eggs only
  • Female can lay more than 300 eggs, most laid in the first 3 days after emerging from mummy
  • Adults live about 10 days

Hyperparasitoids can be a problem during the warmer part of the season

  • Look for mummies that have jagged/less nice exit holes
  • Parasitoids make nice circular exit holes

Aphelinus abdominalis

  • Tend to stay local, like top hop around
  • Turns parasitized aphids black
  • Aphidius turns aphids gold/yellow

Really want to do this early, otherwise you end up with mummies all over your plants

If you just sprinkle mummies on the ground, get reduced success

  • Often times come with boxes that can be hung

Storage 43 – 50F

But always best to try to get them out

Cryptolaemus montrouzieri

Tim Engelkes, Koppert Biological Systems Inc.

Family of Coccinelidae

Feeds on aphids

  • Larvae look a lot like mealybugs
  • Both adults and larva are used in biological control
  • They feed on different life stages of prey, have different handling time, etc.
  • Doesn’t matter so much which stage you are using, they have a reasonable amount of overlap
  • 4 (7) life stages (4 larval stages)
  • 28C
  • 30 days average development time
  • >75% RH
  • 400 – 500 eggs
  • 250 prey items


  • Check activity in bottle
  • Females have been mated by males
  • Check activity on white tray
  • Roughly count individuals

In crop:

  • Check activity when introducing
  • Scout; regular counts on standardized area
  • Scout adults/larvae, egg batches


  • In/on pest population
  • For high pressure/hotspots
  • Multiple introductions
  • Food availability necessity

Lots of side effects of chemical controls for mealybugs on cryptolaemus. Lots of them has long persistence as well (i.e. imidacloprid)

Dalotia (Atheta) coriaria (aka rove beetle)

Doug Barrow, Biobest USA Inc.

Management of shorefly

  • Adults and larvae feed on eggs, larvae of shore fly and fungus gnats
  • Also feed on WFthrips pupae in soil and WFT 2nd larval stage
  • Larval and adult stages are very mobile
  • Nocturnal insects preferring dark moist conditions
  • Egg to adult is 21 days at 75F
  • 3 larval instar and pupae stage
  • Reproduction rate is 125-175 eggs at 75F


  • Release in piles later in the day if possible
  • Sprinkle over the top of crops
  • Be sure the area is moist when applying
  • Applying with Hypoaspis is a good combination
  • Release early on in the crop cycle


  • .1 – .25 per ft^2 for ornamentals
  • 5-1 / ft^2 for heavy pressure
  • One time introduction only
  • Habitat boxes can be utilized; a Tupperware container where you can put some substrate and food (i.e. fish food) to culture/breed rove beetles. Needs to be in dark location
    • Gravel floors high humidity, do really well
    • Concrete floors, very dry, don’t do so well


  • Always be careful of drenches
  • Mainspring, very incompatible (even as a drench)
  • Storage at 55F
  • Carrier must be moist
  • Look in crop for larvae and adults

Orius spp

Ronald Valentin, Bioline AgroSciences

One of Valentin’s favorites

  • Predatory bug Orius insidiosus
  • Eats larvae and adults of thrips
  • Also feeds on other small pest, eg twospotted spider mites, moth eggs
  • Can kill up to 80 adult thrips per day!!
    • Doesn’t necessarily feed on all of them, but kills them
  • Can feed and establish on pollen
  • To enhance establishment, can be fed with Bugfood (Ephestia eggs); increases fecundity
    • Actually use Ephestia eggs for rearing of orius in their production system
  • Long establishment time (2 generations)
  • Active from 15C to 38C
  • Reproductive diapause sensitive based on photoperiod, October 20 – Feb. 20th females will stop producing eggs
    • Can alter this by using lights to increase photoperiod
    • Have some species in Europe that do not undergo reproductive diapause, but they are not native to NA
  • Recommended use with banker plants (purple flash pepper)
    • Only on pollen of peppers, about 70 eggs per female
    • Pollen and thrips, 120 eggs per female
    • Only Ephestia, 170 eggs per female. Excellent for rearing/mass producing orius
  • Release rates:
    • 4 introductions of 0.25 – 0.5 m^2
    • In hotspots; 2-5/sq ft, 2-3 introductions

Oriline I – Orius insidiosus


  • Let bottles get to room temp
  • Rotate bottle gently before and during introduction
  • Release on foliage by sprinkling carrier onto leaf canopy. Orius will disperse very quickly from carrier into crop
  • Carrier is buckwheat
  • Not all crops are suitable for orius; short term crop, longer term establishment of Orius
  • Do not release before end of Feb (diapause)
  • Use of banker plants for Orius
  • Definitely not a curative solution, its preventative.

Do not store, release ASAP

Problem months for predatory mites to control thrips are May to September (adults coming in)

Orius banker plants

  • Purple flash doesn’t get too big, which is why people typical use. And 38% better than black pearl, because it producers more flowers
  • Focus on 100 plants per acre
  • Start pepper seedlings early (late october, early november)
  • Need to make sure the aphids are under control, otherwise you’ll start battling with aphids
    • Can release A cucumeris on pepper bankers (Sachets) to manage the aphids
  • Feed orius with ephestia eggs (Bugfood), which will increase egg laying
  • Used Alyssum with pepper flash in the same pot
    • Alyssum will drop lots of small leaves though, that becomes a bit of a problem
  • Orius really connected to banker plants, otherwise it’s really hard to get those populations up
  • Orius does not work on Tomatoes, because they get stuck in trichomes
    • Dicyphus hesperus works better on tomatoes

Dicyphus hesperus

Kelly Vance, Beneficial Insectary

  • True bug (sucking/piercing mouth parts)
  • Mirid family
  • Omnivore (feeds on insects and obtains water from plants)
  • Can survive on Mullein plants alone
  • Used in management of greenhouse and tobacco whitefly, mites, thrips and more including the eggs of many pest insects
  • Similar to Macrolophus caliginosus, a popular BCA of whitefly, thrips and mites in greenhouse vegetable crops in Europe
  • Prefers whitefly
  • Do not work well alone against whiteflies, work well to boost or enhance biocontrol

Consists of 4 nymphal stages

  • Wings fully formed at 4th and adult

Egg to adult 43 days @ 65 degrees F

33.5 days @ 72 degrees F

25 days @ 81 degrees F

Eggs laid in leaf tissue

Nymphs are green with red eyes and red stripe behind the eye

Between 1 and 3 mm long, slightly fatter in stage 1-3

Development of wings in 4th nymphal stage


  • Long life span makes for slow establishment
  • Takes 2-3 months, scout for nymphs at 6 weeks (population explodes on 3rd generation)
  • The need for insect food to establish requires supplemental food sources in preventative applications
  • Mullein banker plant systems are recommended in situations where growers need wide coverage

Mullein – Verbascum thapsus

  • Biennial
  • Originally introduced but now somewhat native from Michigan to the West Coast of the US and BC
  • Large, leaves as large as sheets of paper
  • Reaches up to 7 feet in flower.
  • Do not require flowers to act as banker plant; dicyphus feeds on the leaves, not on the flowers

Obtain seeds 10 weeks prior to first release of Dicyphus

  • Started seeds in flat, transferred to 4″ pot when 3-4 leaves formed
  • At week 10: transplant into 12″ hanging baskets

Make 6-8 weekly releases of Dicyphus into Mullein @ 1-2 per plant

Keep plants pot-tight as long as possible for easy mobility

Begin scouting for nymphs at week 6

Distribute in greenhouse or crop rows @ 40 mullein per acre in hanging baskets

Continue scouting for Dicyphus adults and nymphs and continue releases into greenhouse weekly for up to 4 weeks

Chemical compatibility:

  • Very sensitive to many insecticides
  • No direct research for Dicyphus but common opinion is similar pesticide sensitivity as Orius spp, which is very sensitive
    • Do not spray the banker plants!
  • No systemic fungicides on the banker, because they are feeding on the plants as well


  • Apply in early morning or late evening, avoiding direct sunlight or high temperatures
  • Keep bottle horizontal and slowly rotate

Adults will fly short distances, and will upon opening, making a precise count difficult

Encarsia formosa / Eretmocerus eremicus

Tim Engelkes, Koppert Biological Systems Inc.

  1. formosa
  • 20-25ºC
  • 25 days at these temperatures
  • < 70% RH
  • 150 eggs
  • Host feeding
  • Males are dark/black, whereas females have more yellow

Encarsia is predominately female

Eretmocerus, about 20 – 30% are males

  1. eremius
  • 24ºC
  • 30 days
  • <65RH
  • 150 eggs
  • Host feeding

Quality control:

  • Check for presence of adults
  • Check empty pupae
  • Before and after count of pupae in controlled environment

In crop

  • Progeny effort is important
  • Scout, regular counts on standardized area
  • Scout parasitized larvae
  • Scout, scout, scout
  • Pupa actually turn black when they are parasitized
    • Helps to determine parasitization rate
    • For eretmocerus, it’s yellowish to brown. A little harder to distinguish from unparasitized, but works as well

Application method:

  • Hang on leaf/stem of plant
    • Don’t every go “high”. Go middle or low on the plant
    • Radius is about 50 meters
  • Avoid direct sunlight
  • Multiple introductions
  • Pupae protected

Yellow roller sticky tape

  • Can do a great part of the management; does an excellent job
  • However, parasitoids also get stuck on these yellow strips
  • Put the yellow strip above the canopy of the plant, about 30 cm, to decrease likelihood of catching the parasitoids


  • Cards, blister packs

Differences to keep in mind:


  • Trialeurodes
  • Eggs into larva
  • Little host feeding
  • 3rd and 4th instars
  • Normal temperatures
  • Easy to scout (black mummies)
  • More sensitive to pesticides


  • Bemisia
  • Eggs beneath larva
  • A lot of host feeding
  • 2nd and 3rd instar
  • Tolerate higher peak temperatures
  • Less sensitive to pesticides
  • Less visually distinct

Differences to keep in mind:

Beauvaria bassiana can have negative impacts on beneficials if sprayed regularly.

Diglyphus isaea

Doug Barrow, Biobest USA Inc.

Works on leafminers

  • Trifolii, huidobrensis, and byroniae)
  • Parasitoid of leaf miners


  • Host feeding (1st and 2nd instar leafminers)
  • Lifespan: 10-32 days (temperature dependent)
  • Parasitize 3 major leafminer species
  • Fecundity: 200 – 300 eggs


Preventative: 0.1-0.25/10 sq ft

Curative: 0.5 – 1 / 10sq ft weekly until establishment

Open diglyphus – system vial in hot spot or where desired

Dissections of mines / observations with magnifying glasses in the field

Beneficial nematodes

Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, Buglady Consulting

Several commercially available:

  • Steinernema is the predominant one
    • BASF sells them
    • Need to identify your pest to species level to make sure you get the right nematode
  • Some of them come in bags and come in trays as well (Biobest)

Page 31 of quality control manual

Check whether they are alive before applying, however, application method typically is the point of death:

  • Filters
  • PSI
  • Water temperatures of stock
  • Water temperatures in water lines
  • Soil temperatures
    • We don’t quite know the exactly temperature tolerance yet

Application temperatures

  • Do not take nematodes from fridge and put in warm water
  • Let them warm up a few hours at room temperature in package
  • Keep tanks shaded when applying to keep them cool
  • Can use cool packs in solution

Soil temperatures:

  • Not very active when soil temp is less than 60F
  • Efficacy decreased if applications are made when soil surface temperatures are above 86F
  • Can kill nematodes if soil get too got

Can use wax moths to screen whether nematodes are effective at killing the insects. (QC)

  • Use if you don’t think your nematodes are working; this way you can rule out whether the lack of efficacy is due to the nematodes, or something else (i.e. method of application, greenhouse conditions, etc)

Way to apply while keeping the nematodes alive

  • Dramm agitation/aeration system
    • Keeps nematodes in suspension
    • Keeps oxygen in the water
    • Does not heat up
    • Plug or battery


  • Check date on package
  • 40F
  • Best in dedicated fridge
  • No food storage
    • Can’t keep in a fridge that you keep opening and closing the fridge and changing the temperature; not good for the nematodes

BASF has a chart on insecticide compatibility

Products to watch for:

Avid – apply separately at 7 day intervals

Talus – apply separately

Pylon – apply separately at 7 day intervals

Many safe products including the neonicotinoids and microbial products

Soil temperatures in the south in the summer may be too hot; may just kill nematodes before they are effective

  • Cornell in the summer, nematodes were much less effective than other time of year (Sanderson work)

The hydrogels used as a substrate for the nematodes are not considered organic certified.

Some certifiers may accept filtering out hydrogels (using cheese cloth) and applying just the nematodes for organic certification

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