heard that you can buy good bugs to control bad bugs. Can you tell
me what they are and where I can buy them from?
Since the early seventies there's been a move away from pesticides
into biological control.
Biological control means
reducing your pest population by employing their natural predators,
and these days you can buy some of these great little insects off
Most people don't like spraying
noxious chemicals, and people certainly don't like eating them.
So putting a good bug into an environment to kill the bad bugs is
a simple solution to a long-standing problem.
Bio Force, in Karaka,
breeds predators and parasites in glasshouses to sell to commercial
growers and the public. Their biggest seller is the encarsia, a
parasitoid that kills whitefly.
The encarsia parasitises the juveniles. They lay their eggs
into the juveniles, and the juveniles turn black with a wasp in
Bio Force harvests the
wasps, sticks them on a tag and sells them. The tags can then be
planted on tomatoes or other plants to kill the whitefly.
This is just one of a
number of parasites and predators that are commercially available.
Another small wasp lays its egg inside a live host, in this
case an aphid. The parasitic wasp curls the egg-laying tube under
her body to deposit an egg inside the aphid.
Also available is the
reddish mite a very active predator mite which just loves
to eat the two-spotted spider mite.
Home gardeners with a
pest problem must first identify their culprit before they can employ
a biological enemy for control. Your beneficials need really good
conditions in order to thrive Bio Force has that information
The problem is, when people use pesticides to kill the bugs,
they kill the beneficials, which are twice as susceptible to the
For more information,
Bio Force Ltd, Tel: 09-294-8973,
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH