IPM in Greenhouse crops

Posted by Jason Robinson on Aug 21st 2017

Ipm or intergrated pest management refers to the release of certain predatory insects or fungi to control problematic insects in nurseries ,greenhouse and indoor gardens .This technique is generally used in commercial crops but can be adapted to the indoor garden quite successfully .The two most common insect pests that this can be used for indoors are Red and Two spotted mites and Fungus Gnats .Red and Two spotted mites are targeted with a predatory mites Persimillis and in some cases Californicus .The application of these predatory mites should be done as soon as you see pest mites on your crop as if you have an infestation the introduction of predators can be ineffective as they can take too long and have too much work to do before they become an effective strategy .Also it is better for the predators if no toxic pesticides have been used prior to their release so this means starting early rather than later with IPM .Fungus gnats are another indoor garden problem that can be successfully tackled using the IPM method .The predators for fungus gnats are a predatory mite that is applied to the surface of the soil or substrate .These predators called Hypoaspis are also effective in the control of thrip populations .Once again it is best to apply these predators when you first notice the fungus gnats as this will give the growers the best protection against this pest .These predators are shipped generally in buckets or cardboard tubes and will last one or two days after delivery although it is recommended you release them as soon as you get a chance to ensure high survival rates  .White fly is another crop that is well suited to IPM as a strategy to control their numbers .For whitefly a parasitic wasp is introduced into the garden or greenhouse .The two main species of wasp used are the Encarsia and Eretmoerus .These are both tiny wasps usually less than 1mm long although the Eretmoerus can get upto 1mm in length These wasps will lay a single egg on the host whitefly larvae.Once hatched the larvae will use digestive juices to burrow into the whitefly larvae .The larval wasp will the feed on the nymph until it hatchs as an adult some 10-30 days later .Each wasp can lay around 150 eggs so the can become a powerful tool in combating a whitefly infestation .Crops that they are useful on would include tomatoes ,Eggplants, cucumbers ,strawberries and various herbs .The use of predators to control thrip species is now also a viable option .There are many IPM controls that can be used in the fight against thrips .The Main two are a Cucumeris mite and an insect called Orius .The Cucumeris mite is a very small teardrop shaped mite which is less than 1mm in length .These small mites are very fast moving compared to other predatory mites .These predators will control Western flower ,Plague and onion thrips but are opportunistic feeders and will also feed on problematic mites increasing their efficacy .The Orius is a small insect that feasts on live prey and can consume up to 20 thrips per day but when then thrip population is excessive they will kill more thrips than they require for food .The adult Orius have the ability to fly and move throughout a crop in search of a prey source which can make them quite effective in green house crops .These insects will also feed on mites ,aphids and pollen and are best suited to crops that have a pollen source available for them to feed upon .The crops these insects are best suited to are tomatoes ,chillis ,capsicum and berry fruit .  Predators are available for mites ,aphids ,thrips ,springtails  and white fly. For pricing and delivery of your Hydroponic Supplies please call .0882628323 .