Both the adults and larvae of Encarsia formosa can kill whiteflies by causing physical injuries and feeding internally on them. Briefly, adult wasps puncture the body of whitefly nymphs or pupae with their ovipositor and feed externally on the oozing blood (hemolymph) and the body content of the nymphs or pupae. Also, females of Encarsia formosa lay eggs using their ovipositor inside the body of adults and nymphs of whiteflies. After hatching from eggs, the wasp larvae will then start feeding internally on the body content of whitefly nymphs or pupae and eventually kill them.
Currently, beneficial entomopathogenic Steinernema carpocapsae nematodes have been used as successful alternatives to chemical pesticides for controlling fleas. This is because nematodes are not harmful to dogs, cats and humans, easy to apply, and can kill both larval and pupal stages of fleas with 48 hours after their application and stop the emergence of future generation adults.
Amblyseius swirskii mites are commercially available as mixed stages of adults and larvae and are currently used as a biological control agent for controlling whiteflies, which are serious pests of greenhouse plants. Both the larvae and adults of Amblyseius swirskii are very active and therefore they can quickly disperse after their application in the greenhouses to seek their hosts including whiteflies. Amblyseius swirskii mites are known to feed voraciously on all the stages of whiteflies. As these mites can eat over 10 whiteflies or eggs or nymphs per day, they can eliminate whitefly populations quickly in the greenhouses.
Biological control of spider mites can be achieved by using the predatory insects including green lacewing, ladybugs, minute pirate bugs and gall midges, and predatory mites including Amblyseius andersoni can directly feed on spider mites and reduce their population below their economic damage level. Please click on each predatory insect and mites for detailed information on their rate and timing of of application for the effective control spider mites in your greenhouse and gardens.
Small hive beetles, Aethina tumida are the most devastating insect pest of honey bee (Aphis mellifera) hives (Photo 1). Both adults and larvae of small hive beetle cause direct and indirect damages to honeybees. In case of direct damage, larvae of small hive beetle directly feed on the honeybee brood, honey. pollen and destroy honeycombs. In case of indirect damage, both adults and larvae of small hive beetle spread yeast, Kodamaea ohmeri into the colony and yeast that grows on the honeycombs causes fermentation of honey, which is not suitable for human consumption or as the food for honeybees.
Plant nematodes are microscopic unsegmented roundworms (Photo 1) that cause severe damage to many plant species. A handful soil may contain several different species of plant nematodes including root-knot (Meloidogyne spp.), Sting (Belonolaimus spp.), lance (Hoplolaimus spp.), root- lesion (Pratylenchus spp.), ring (Mesocriconema spp.), stubby-root (Paratrichodorus spp.), spiral (Helicotylenchus spp.), dagger (Xiphinema spp.) and cyst (Heterodera spp.) nematodes (Photo 1). Of these nematode species, root- nematode is considered the most economically important pests of many plant species including field crops (cotton, peanut, soybean, corn etc) and vegetables (tomato, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants etc).
Predatory mites, Stratiolaelaps scimitus (Hypoaspis miles) are currently used for the organic control of fungus gnats (Bradysia spp.).
Whiteflies are one of the most damaging insect pests of many greenhouse and field vegetables. The beneficial nematodes like Steinernema feltiae can be used for the effective killing of whiteflies.
Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica) are one of the most damaging insect pests of many agricultural and horticultural crops, ornamental plants and turfgrasses. Larvae of Japanese beetles are also called as grubs that mainly damage plant roots whereas their adults damage only aboveground plant parts like flowers, fruits, leaves and twigs.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with nematicidal activities are naturally occurring chemicals generally found in and easily emitted as vapors and gases from many living organisms like bacteria and fungi, and plants.