HEAT ALERT! For deliveries during hot weather please have coolers with cold packs ready with a note--FedEx/UPS drop here. HEAT ALERT! For deliveries during hot weather please have coolers with cold packs ready with a note saying 'FedEx/UPS drop here' if not available to accept delivery.

Sound Horticulture Bug Blog

The Mighty Predatory Mites

The Mighty Predatory Mites

These mighty mites are a great entry into using biocontrols. They ship well, are easy to use, and effective. But what is a mite? Mites are tiny arachnids with two body parts, four pairs of legs and sucking mouthparts. These extremely small creatures are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. They feed on other mites, tiny insects like young thrips and scale, as well as the eggs of insects and mites. Not all predatory mites are the same. This makes them perfect for a greenhouse environment or outdoor crops where change can be constant due to weather, culture, and pest pressure. They land into three categories.

Specialized Mites

These mites feed on a specific pest and will not accept alternative food sources. Phytoseiulus persimilis is a good example of a specialized mite. It feeds actively on the two-spotted spider mite and will disperse when the prey is gone. They tend to aggregate near their prey and will remain longer than other mites while prey is available.

  • Phytoseiulus persimilis—Bright red/orange, preys on two spotted spider mite. Can eat up to 20 pest eggs/nymphs per day. Optimum conditions are 68°-81°F with relative humidity (RH) over 60%. Active year round in the greenhouse. This mite can spread across plants when the leaves are touching, but movement is inhibited on plants with smooth leaves (Dianthus) and those with hairy leaves (tomato). 

Selective Mites

These mites prefer one type of prey but will also feed on other food sources such as other mites, insects and pollen. Because of this they can survive at low prey densities. There is crossover between selective mites and generalist mites.

  • Amblyseius cucumeris--pear shaped and light tan in color. Feeds on the immature stages of western flower thrips, pollen and pest mites including broad mite, cyclamen mite and tomato russet mite. Optimum conditions are 68°-77°F with RH 66-70%. Development from egg to adults slows significantly with low humidity. 
  • Amblyseius degenerans--feeds on thrips and pollen. Similar to cucumerisdegenerans is effective in “harassing” the larval stages of thrips, which may reduce the level of damage caused by thrips feeding. The predatory mite tolerates a lower relative humidity and has a higher population growth than N. cucumeris.
  • Neoseiulus californicus--feeds on spider mites, broad mites, cyclamen mites, russet mites and pollen. Well adapted to high temperatures and does best in warm humid conditions. Is an aggressive predator and will eat other beneficial mites. Has a slower population growth than persimilis and is less efficient at finding prey.
  • Neoseiulus fallacis-- shiny, tan to light orange with long legs. Feeds on spider mites, rust mites, small insects, and pollen. Can reproduce at lower temperatures than other predatory mites (48°-85°F RH over 50%) 14-60 day lifespan.
  • Galendromus occidentalis--pear shaped and white, red or brown depending on coloration of prey. Feeds on spider mites, other pest mites and pollen. Good for fruit trees and outdoor crops. Optimum conditions are 50°-115°F and RH 30-60%. Tolerates higher temperatures and a lower relative humidity better than P. persimilus.   

Generalist Mites

Feed me! These mites will feed on other mites, pollen and plant exudates. Cannibalism is prevalent and one release is often sufficient. This type of mite is more effective when pests are spread out as generalist mites disperse more rapidly.

  • Amblyseius swirskii--feeds on thrips and young stages of whitefly, pollen and fungi. It can consume up to 10 thrips, 10 whitefly nymphs or 20 whitefly eggs per day. Optimum temperatures are 77°-82°F with RH of 70%. Studies have shown that A. swirskii is more effective when thrips and whiteflies are present simultaneously.  
  • Amblyseius andersoni—feeds on numerous species of mites and thrips. Active under a wide range of temperatures, 43°-104°F making them suitable for early season as well as very hot conditions.
  • Stratiolaelaps scimitus lives in the top 1" of soil and feeds on fungus gnat larvae, young stages of thrips, springtails and root mealybug. Optimum soil temperatures 60°-75° Can survive mild winters but are inactive below 57°F. Compatible with beneficial nematode use.

Harassment 

The statistics about harassment from predatory mites are incredible! What a difference mites make! Just having beneficial mites on your crops will reduce pest pressure, even if they aren’t eating the pests. Use of predatory mites reduces:

  • Thrips feeding by 25%
  • Thrips larval survival by 50%
  • Thrips life span by 40%
  • Thrips egg laying by 70%
  • Thrips plant damage by 30%

As you think about your crops and growing conditions, pick the right mite and watch those pests disappear!

A Breakdown of Aphid Parasitoids and Predatory Mites by Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Grower Talks, 2017. 

Predatory Mites, Colorado State University

When Harassment is a good thing in your Greenhouse, Ontario Floriculture

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

Ladybugs

Ladybugs

5 Reasons why we don’t sell ladybugs

Ladybugs are well known and loved by many people all over the world. They are a sign of good fortune and health. They are welcome in gardens as a natural predator of aphids and other pests. Then why is it not a good idea to purchase them for biocontrol? Following are the five top reasons why we don’t sell ladybugs for biocontrol.

1. Almost all ladybugs are harvested from the wild, and it is against the law to harvest wildlife without a permit. The two main species are the convergent ladybug, Hippodamia convergens, and the Asian ladybug, Harmonia axyridis. In the future, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife hope to have regulations on ladybug harvest, but at this point, no laws exist.

2. Ladybugs can vector disease and introduce parasites. Transporting an insect caught in the wild to a garden or greenhouse can expose the native insects to harmful parasites or pathogens, shortening their lifespan and reducing their productivity.

3. Ladybugs don’t stick around. Ladybugs are harvested during the winter months in California while they hibernate or diapause. When they are released into a new environment, they inherently migrate out of the area within 1-2 days. This is built into their system: hibernate, migrate, feed and then lay eggs, in this order. Inherently disperse.

4. Disruption of native habitat. No one knows the effects of removing millions of ladybugs from the wild each year. What happens to the native wildlife populations that depend on ladybugs for food? What happens to the ecosystem? One study suggests that the removal of ladybugs from the California foothills each year could lead to pest problems for farmers in the central valley, thus increasing the use of pesticides (Hagen, Kenneth S. 1954).

5. Competition with local beetles and other insects for food. It seems like there are always too many aphids, but introducing a wild species could disrupt the native populations, robbing them of valuable resources.

There are many other beneficial insects that are available from Sound Horticulture for biocontrol. These insects are raised in insectaries and have proven effective for many growers over the years. The most likely replacement for the ladybug is the lacewing larvae, Chrysoperla rufilabris, another generalist predator. Lacewing larvae can consume up to 200 soft-bodied insects per day and will not fly away. They are sold as eggs, larvae or adults. Delphastus pusillus is a ladybird beetle that preys on whitefly, Stethorus punctillum is a tiny ladybird beetle that preys on spider mites and Cryptolaemus montrouzieri is a predator beetle for mealybugs.

Cultivating a wide variety of pollen-rich blooms will attract ladybugs, as well as using a pheromone lure, Predalure, to bring in the beneficial insects. Please consider the risks when purchasing ladybugs online. Insects are essential for our survival. As E.O. Wilson once said “It’s the little things that run the world” 

Potential Risks of Releasing Convergent Ladybeetles, Xerces Society

Predalure package

Lacewing larvae feeding

 

 

 

 

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

 

Continue reading

Fall Newsletter: Attack of the Mealybugs

Fall Newsletter: Attack of the Mealybugs

Photo by Maddy Baker

As we move into the fall, we have received a spike of inquiries detailing mealybug outbreaks. 

With that in mind, we would like to share some information on the subject, hoping we can shed some light on a fairly common pest. There are two main species of Mealybug that we see here in the US. Longtailed mealybug (featuring tails that can protrude as long as the main body of the insect) and citrus mealybug(does not feature long tails). There is also a species of mealybug that can reside in soil so checking root balls can be crucial for plant care.

Mealybug Hosts

Longtailed Mealybug hosts: Dracaena, avocado, citrus, grapes, pear, persimmon, pineapple, tropical/subtropical plants, cycads, orchids, jade, oleander, beans, flax, guava, apple, potato, lemon, begonia, sedum, sempervivum and other ornamentals.

Citrus Mealybug hosts: As the name suggests, these are primarily pests of citrus but also enjoy ornamentals, vegetables, and fruits. They seem to prefer grapefruit over other citrus but other hosts include amaryllis, asparagus, begonia, cactus, coconut, coleus, croton, cucurbits, cyclamen, dahlia, yams, ficus, strawberries, gardenia, impatiens, poinsettia, sweet potato, mango, bananas, avocado, guava, pomegranate, pineapple, pear, apple, eggplant, tulips, milkweed, rosemary, and the list goes on!

Needless to say, these pests have a very wide host range and can attack many houseplants. Production growers should be vigilant of these pests and should consistently ship out clean material. It is always a good idea to inspect plants thoroughly, even the soil, before sending them off to customers.

 

Pictured are 3 different developmental stages of mealybugs right next to each other. Smaller nymphs leading up to a full grown female adult mealybug.

Photo by Brendan Kelly 

Mealybug Damage: Signs to Look Out for

Mealybugs and other insects with piercing-sucking mouthparts, like aphids, feed directly from the host plant vascular system. Feeding from this pest can lead to wilted, yellowed chlorotic leaves, premature leaf drop, stunted growth, and even death!! The sugary honeydew secreted from mealybugs as a byproduct of their feeding habit can cause sooty mold to grow on plant surfaces, hindering photosynthetic capability. The honeydew can also attract ants to the situation which can lead to distribution of the mealy pest.

 Options for Control:

For small infestations, a light isopropyl alcohol solution spray can help kill some of these pests on contact without damaging your plants. Mechanical removal by washing plants with water can help significantly as well. These pests are great at getting down into plant crevices and hidden points in new growth that will help keep the covered from sprays and washes, not to mention their waxy coating can also act as a barrier to sprays. Another defensive behavior that has been observed is the egg laying, adult female Mealybug covering stage 1 and 2 instars when sprays are being conducted.

Commercially, we can offer an entomopathogenic fungi such as Beauveria bassiana to help with mealybug outbreaks. Some of the products that we offer including this fungi are Velifer, Botanigard MAXX, Mycotrol, and BioCeres. Another successful biopesticide that we offer is the beneficial fungus product NoFly. This contains the fungal organism Isaria fumosorosea and works wonders for mealybug control. Long Shadow does include mealybug on its label but comes with caveat that cinnamon oil can be highly phytotoxic, so use caution and do a test before spraying everything.

Cryptolaemus montrouzieri are the best biocontrol option. These adults and their larvae are both predacious and a single Cryptolaemus can eat up to 250 small mealybugs over its lifetime. Their larvae do look oddly similar to the mealybug, although they appear a bit “harrier”, are much larger, and eventually turn into an adult Ladybird Cryptolaemus. They spend about 2-3 weeks as larvae and can live over a month as an adult. This gives them close to 50 days of life, which is pretty long compared to other beneficial predators. They may be more effective against citrus mealybug because they are known to lay eggs in cottony masses. The long tailed mealybug is still a good prey option for the Cryptolaemus but are not known to lay eggs which is an easy target for the predator. The predators will likely go after younger mealybugs first. The Cryptolaemus is a specialized predator so its’ main focus will be the Mealybug.

Chrysoperla rufilabris, or the Green Lacewing is a generalist predator that will eat just about anything (including its own kind!). These predators have shown success in controlling mealybugs and can be a cheap option for coverage of multiple pest issues.

Mealybugs can reproduce without mating, like aphids and each female can lay up to 350-600 eggs. The mealybugs can each live for around a month and will do damage the entire time. Some mealybugs can also be found colonizing in soil so scouting root masses can be an integral part of monitoring and control.

Sources of this information are:

-New Zealand Landcare Research

-NC State Extension

-University of California IPM

-University of Florida Entomology Department 

Cryptolaemus montrouzieri is the most commonly used biological control for mealybugs. Cryptolaemus is used to control mealybugs mainly in interior plantscapes. They can be used outdoors, but will not survive sub-freezing temperatures. To keep mealybug populations down to acceptable levels in greenhouses, several releases of Cryptolaemus may be necessary, particularly during winter months. They are less effective on longtailed mealybug (Pseudococcus longispinus) because this species lacks the cottony masses Cryptolaemus requires for egg laying.

Adults and young larvae prefer to eat mealybug eggs, but older larvae will feed on all stages of mealybugs. The adults can fly and cover large areas to search for food. If food is scarce they will also eat soft scales and aphids. 

 

 

BioCeres WP targets common insect pests such as aphids, whiteflies and thrips.

BioCeres WP is a contact biological insecticide that contains the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. This particular strain, ANT-03, was isolated from Lygus bugs in Canada. It works by germinating into the cuticle of insects and releasing toxins while also consuming the hemolymph.

One of the advantages of BioCeres is that it is an i-502 allowable product containing B. bassiana without the pyrethrins. BioCeres WP can also be tank mixed with several other biorational pesticides (check the technical info for specific combinations).

 NoFly WP is a naturally occurring fungi strain which acts as a natural pesticide. The concentrated spores of Isaria fumosoroseus strain FE 990. Highly effective under humid conditions, this microbial fungal spore germinates and infects a select group of pests, including aphids, whitefly, thrips, mealy bugs and more. Beneficial predator mites that may be in your growing system are not affected. See the link for additional label and important application instructions. NoFly WP is also compatible with many chemicals making it an excellent tool for use in an integrated pest management (IPM) program.

 

CHECK OUT THESE PRODUCTS IN OUR ONLINE STORE

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Cannatank 420 this week!

The event runs from March 30-31, 2018, in Spokane, WA. Catch Alison's talk on Friday morning from 10-10:45am and on Saturday from 1-1:45pm!

 

Dialing the Biological  Clock:

Tuning and Timing of Biological Control Programs for Cannabis
In this presentation Alison will highlight program BMP's for scouting, monitoring, preventing and controlling our most pervasive pests in Cannabis: hemp russet mites, broad mites, spider mites, thrips and now also the cannabis aphid. From basics to fine tuning, we'll dissect the challenges in biological programs. We'll discuss how best to nail the timing of your applications of both microbial products as well as predators, parasitic wasps and beneficial nematodes. Click here for more info on Alison's sessions.
Continue reading

Website Upgrade allows Bugs Online!

Website Upgrade allows Bugs Online!
This has been a long time in the waiting but... if you prefer online shopping, we are now ready for you to give it a whirl. We still want to hear from you if you have any questions, and to support you in any way. Our team of experienced technical biocontrol experts is expanding cautiously as we dip our toes gingerly into the online realm (!) The most important consideration for us is never letting the quality of what we do, or what live creatures we ship to you slip! Your comments and suggestions are welcome! Continue reading
  • Previous
  • Page 1 of 2
  • Next
Recent posts
Back to top