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Sound Horticulture Bug Blog

Manage Flies Naturally This Season

Manage Flies Naturally This Season

Biocontrol doesn’t have to stop at the greenhouse. There are many natural enemies raised in insectaries that are used in landscapes, orchards and even for fly control of livestock and farm animals. Nuisance flies on horses and cattle can be a big problem, and fly parasites are raised and sold specifically to help with this.

Fly parasites are tiny parasitoid wasps that attack and lay eggs inside of filth fly pupae. The three wasps that make up the fly parasites are Spalangia cameroni, Muscidifurax zaraptor, and  Muscidifurax raptorellus. They can lay up to five eggs inside of one pupa, which is killed as new wasps develop. Since flies reproduce at a faster pace than fly parasites, repeated applications are necessary throughout the summer.

Fly Parasites |  sound-horticulture.myshopify.com   

Fly parasites are only part of a complete fly management program. Setting fly traps and good manure management are also important. Fly parasites can travel up to 150 feet from their release points, which should be in the same locations that flies reproduce (manure piles, food waste, compost, etc..). It’s best to release fly parasites before the fly season, giving the fly parasites a chance to attack the developing flies and prevent an outbreak. Keep applying fly parasites every 2-4 weeks, depending on your needs.

We’ll help you evaluate your individual situation and keep you ahead of the flies!  For every large animal, you will need approximately 1,000 fly parasites. Once we create a schedule, you can count on us to keep you organized throughout the season. Email or call us today!

 

Release Rates 

Horses--7,500 per every 5 horses, applied every 2 to 4 weeks

Cattle, Bison--7,500 per every 5 animals, applied every 1 to 3 weeks

Goats, Sheep, Dogs--7,500 per every 15 animals, applied every 2 to 4 weeks

Miniatures, Burros--7,500 per every 10 animals, applied every 2 to 4 weeks

Swine--7,500 per every 10 animals, applied every 1 to 2 weeks

Chickens, Turkeys (on wire)--7,500 per every 2,000 birds, applied every 1 to 2 weeks

Ostriches, Emus--7,500 per every 15 birds, applied every 2 to 4 weeks

Llamas, Alpacas--7,500 per every 10 animals, applied every 2 to 4 weeks

Sound Horticulture

(360) 656-6680

info@soundhorticulture.com

Using parasitoids for fly control

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Black Vine Weevil

Black Vine Weevil

Are you growing wine grapes, hops, Camellia or rhododendron and notice now, or last season, notching on leaf margins? Feeding damage of buds and flowers? It could be the insect pest, Black Vine Weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) which is spread across the United States and feeds on over 200 plant species. Other susceptible plants include yew, hemlock, begonia, cyclamen, fuchsia, impatiens, primrose, epimedium, bergenia and sedum.

The white c-shaped larvae live underground, feeding on roots, while the dark colored adults sneak onto the plant at night to feed, returning to the soil and leaf litter to hide during the day. This nocturnal behavior makes them difficult to control once established. They also lack natural predators, and the females reproduce parthenogenically, so populations can grow very quickly if not checked. Prevention should be the goal for management.

BVW overwinter in pupal cases in the soil until the adults emerge in late May to early July. They feed on plant material for around a month before they begin laying eggs. The females then deposit several eggs each day into the soil or leaf litter near acceptable host plants. They can lay up to 200 eggs during their 3-month lifetime. After 2-3 weeks the larvae hatch and feed on plant rootlets all summer until they build a pupal case to start the process again. In the warmth of a greenhouse the adults may emerge in March or April. While many crops are attacked by both adults and larvae, some crops may be attacked by adults or larvae alone. There is usually one generation each year.

Black Vine Weevil larvae

Monitoring is a key to successful management. Due to their nocturnal behavior and subterranean habitat, growers may not notice this destructive pest until the they have suffered from significant crop losses. Scout for adults under leaf debris or in soil under benches in the evening. For container plants, remove susceptible varieties from pots and examine the root systems for larvae. When located, remove adults by hand.

Site selection and physical barriers are helpful in controlling adult weevils which are flightless and travel short distances. Wrapping sticky traps or tanglefoot around base of stems will restrict adult movement.

One strategy for vine weevil management is to reduce excess soil moisture, which increases egg and larval survival. Remove heavy mulches and do not water plants unless necessary to create an unsuitable habitat.

Two species of entomopathogenic nematodes are effective for weevil control, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora andSteinernema kraussei. These work across a wide range of crops and potting media. Sufficient water must be used during application for the nematodes penetrate the soil and reach the root zone. S. kraussei are effective between 40ºF to 86ºF while H. bacteriophora works best in soil temperatures above 70ºF. Multiple applications may be required, depending on the extent of the larval infestation and their age. S. kraussei availability is sporadic, often with a three week lead time, so plan now!

LalGuard M52 is also effective for weevil control. It contains the pathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum. Once this product is drenched into the soil it comes in contact with the insect. The spores will then attach, germinate and grow, causing the larva and the adults to die within 3-7 days.  LalGuard M52 requires temperature above 59ºF to infect vine weevil larvae.

AzaGuard and Azatin O can also be used for Black Vine Weevil management. The active ingredient, azadirachtin, has been shown to reduce oviposition and increase laying of nonviable eggs. It can also increase larval mortality by up to 46%.

Protect your crops from Black Vine Weevil today by creating a plan. Scout for this pest in late Spring. Place sticky traps around the base of valuable plants. Drench with nematodes March through May and late summer through Fall. Rotate using LalGuard M52 with Azadirachtin products to decrease this damaging pest. Contact Sound Horticulture for more information on how to deal with Black Vine Weevil in your crop. Prevention is the best cure. 

Black Vine Weevil

Vine Weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), Management: Current State and Future Perspectives, Annual Review of Entomology January 2022, by Tom W. Pope and Joe M. Roberts

Black Vine Weevil (and Other Root Weevils), Ohio State University Extension, by David J. Shetlar and Jennifer E. Andon, Dept. of Entomology. April 20, 2015.  

Weeding out the Weevil, Greenhouse Management, by Raymond Cloyd, January 2015.

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Anystis, No Ordinary Mite

Anystis, No Ordinary Mite

One Mite to rule them all, One Mite to find them, One Mite to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them. Just like the One Ring of Lord of the Rings fame, Anystis baccarum, has the potential to become a powerful tool for growers everywhere. 

The strength of Anystis lies in its feeding preferences...everything! This mite will feed on aphids large and small, thrips, whitefly, scale, leafhoppers, spider mites, echinothrips, mealybug, and root aphids. It not only attacks the vulnerable young stages of these pest, but will also successfully capture the mobile adult stages. If prey is scarce it can also sustain itself on pollen and supplemental food such as Ephestia eggs and Artemia cysts. 

Anystis baccarum has just been released this year to the United States market. As a new biocontrol agent, research is still ongoing. We encourage growers to trial Anystis in their crops and share their results with us. Researchers at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Ontario partnered with Applied Bio-nomics in Victoria, British Columbia to develop a breeding system, grower trials and packaging. Anystis was launched to the Canadian market in January 2022. 

“Anystis is an exciting new predator. It appears to be a true generalist and is not intimidated by some of the toughest pest’s natural defenses, such as wax and webbing. It is easy to see and scout, helping growers see their activity. And, it is always hungry, a very good trait,” said Brian Spencer, President of Applied Bio-nomics Ltd.

Also named the Crazee mite, or Whirligig mite, Anystis runs rapidly and erratically across leaf surfaces as well as exposed concrete. Adults are relatively large in size compared to other predatory mites, roughly twice the size of an adult Phytoseiulus persimils. They are bright orange or red in color and the adults have noticeable hairs on their legs and abdomen. 

Anystis can establish and persist in crops. Optimum conditions are 70ºF and over 70% RH. Eggs and larval stages prefer moist, warm conditions, but will still develop in temperatures as low as 50ºF. The complete life cycle takes approximately 4 weeks from egg to adult. Anystis mites have one larval and three nymphal stages before reaching maturity. All stages are predatory and all mites are female. Adults live up to 3 weeks during which they continually feed. Eggs are laid in the substrate several times throughout the adult phase in small clusters of 15-30 eggs.

Anystis has been used successfully on many different crops, including Cannabis, ornamentals and fruit orchards, but, according to Rose Buitenhuis and Taro Saito in the January 18, 2022 article Anystis, Building a New Predatory Mite from Potential to Product, "Although Anystis is found in many types of plants in the wild, including herbaceous, grass, shrubs, and trees, our preliminary observations indicate that Anystis may not establish in tomatoes, due to the granular trichomes on the stems, or in plants with smooth and slippery stems like roses and poinsettias." 

Anystis baccarum is well suited for both outdoor applications in gardens, nurseries and field crops as well as indoors, in greenhouses and on house plants. 

Intraguild predation is not has worrisome as one would think. According to Brian Spencer, president of Applied Bio-nomics, "When we first started working with Anystis, we were afraid that it would break our rule of only selling compatible products. But, to our amazement, when presented with our available products, we found that it was remarkably well behaved.

It stepped over Aphidoletes larvae and didn’t seem to notice Encarsia or fallacis. It actually does eat cucumeris, but when we consider that the cucumeris is an effective food supplement for Anystis, the combination is extremely cost effective and safer, when compared to providing supplemental pollen, or other food mites.

What we have noticed is that Anystis likes the “sport” of tackling adults. With thrips, they lunge at and catch adult thrips, leaving the larvae for the smaller predatory mites. With whitefly, we only see them walking around with adults in their mouths. They don’t appear to recognize the scale as food. 

Even if they eat persimilis as easily as spider mite, the typical ratio is about 50 spider mite to 1 persimilis, so, the odds are they will eat more spider mites and not affect the dynamic, as californicus does by dramatically preferring persimilis eggs, over spider mite."

Anystis baccarum

For best results, use with other beneficial insects and mites. Aphid control is best achieved with preventative applications of Crazee Mites as needed, and regular preventative releases of Aphidoletes every three weeks during peak season. 

Spider mite control is best with Amblyseius fallacis introduced preventatively at a rate of 2 mites/sq. ft., followed by a Crazee Mite application of .25 mites/sq. ft. 

Thrips control is best achieved with an introductory rate of Crazee Mites, .25/sq. ft. and reapplied as needed, with regular releases of Amblyseius cucumeris every 4-5 weeks or as needed. 

Most growers have found a good preventative rate to be .25 mites/sq. ft, however this number may change based on crop, pest and/or the environment. Greater rates will result in quicker knock-down.

Crazee Mites come in packages of 50, 250 or 1,000 adults with wood shavings as the carrier. Visit Sound Horticulture for more information of call us today to order the One Mite to Rule them All!   (360) 656-6680 

SHOP ANYSTIS NOW

 

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Watch Your Feet!

Watch Your Feet!

When it comes to your IPM program, are you employing all the stops? Are you adequately considering these components of your IPM program?

 

1)Removing debris (cultural control)- fungal pathogens (i.e. botrytis).

2)Properly sanitizing surfaces, pots, soil, and tools.

3)Stopping entry and vectoring at the door!

 

Proper sanitation is imperative for maintaining a good integrated pest and disease management program and stopping pests “at the door” should be the first line of defense. Within the larger industry, there are an array of needs in the sanitation department. Without being able to touch on them all, let’s talk about your feet! As we approach fall weather, pests are certainly looking to hitch a ride into indoor environments and greenhouses. That said, vectoring pests in and out of various facilities, greenhouses, or rooms, is a potential problem all season long. How are your growers and employees moving through the facility? Avoid allowing growers to work in contaminated areas and then move to propagation later in the day. Consider supplying a change of clothes and even crocs or boots for employees. 

We work to stay abreast of all the updates and changes in the industry and in biocontrol and share that information with all of you. That said, some trusted principles and products have not changed for decades and remain trusted industry standards.

To assist with this continued concern, we made have ordered in products to make it easy for our customers. Whether you are moving from stock to finishing areas, or from outdoors to indoors, having a sanitation mat is critical for vectoring reduction. For fall, we are combining the long-standing industry sanitation product, Green Shield, with the sanitation mats as a package deal. We don’t want you to call us in crisis!

For $147 you can receive 1 gallon of Green Shield with our favorite type of sanitation mat.

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Sound Hort's Sounding Board

Sound Hort's Sounding Board

We’ve seen so many changes over the last couple years, within our business as well as the many varied sectors of organic agriculture, conventional agriculture, and larger horticultural industries. The use of biocontrol is expanding with each year, and with that, our business has been growing. In fact, we just moved to a larger facility to accommodate additional warehousing of biological products and to expand the capacity of our shipping facility. Last year, we started our ecommerce online store to accommodate customers who prefer to shop online. As an extension of that, we are working to keep our blog updated with pertinent information for all of you working to continually improve and learn. We pride ourselves in our customer service and go out of our way to host workshops, make ourselves available to customers, and to openly share pertinent information to all of you who are trying shore up your pest management.

It’s estimated that 40% of the world’s food production is lost each year due to pest and diseases related failure. Our goal is to provide tactics and products in order to properly manage pests, while remaining environmentally conscious. Additionally, we encourage growers to develop natural habitats for hosting beneficial populations. We recognize that the growth we are experiencing is an industry-wide and environmental success. Pest resistance to conventional chemicals is not going away, while the domestic and international tightening of chemical regulation is on the rise. As growers experience the limitations of chemicals, they are now leaning on biological controls and biologically based practices. Meanwhile, consumers are asking that their products be produced using clean practices, whether it be ornamental crops, food crops, herbs, cannabis, or the plant based inputs of their supplements…EVERYTHING! We find this grassroots movement extremely exciting and encouraging!

So welcome to the green side! We are here to assist.

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