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Lady Bird Beetle
Delphastus pusillus

Delphastus pusillus is a small ladybird beetle which preys on all species and stages of whitefly, but prefers eggs and nymphs. The adults are small, shiny, black beetles. Newly emerged adults are pale-brown to almost white. Wikipedia

Minute Pirate Bug
Orius insidiosus

...An aggressive thrips predator – possibly the most effective. It attacks and kills all mobile stages of thrips, including adult thrips. Orius is a true bug, which means it has a long rostrum (feeding tube). It uses its rostrum to pierce its prey, and drain the contents, killing the pest. Article

Parasitic Nematode
Steinernema carpocapsae

Beneficial nematodes (...Steinernema carpocapsae...) are used for the control and management of various soil pests. Article

Predatory Mite
Amblyseius californicus

...a very commonly used predatory mite. It is often referred to as the “Cali mite”. It will feed on two-spot spider mites, carmine mites, and eriophyid mites. Alternatively it will feed on pollen and other arthropods, keeping itself alive when there is a shortage of prey to feed on. I like to think of is a more the “slow release” mite, working at a consistent steady pace. Article

Ladybug and aphids

Predator and Prey

Over the past year we have made a big switch in pest control by using beneficial insects. We have greatly reduced our chemical use and are moving towards a more environmentally friendly and sustainable pest management program. Beneficial insects work hard at keeping populations of harmful insects from reaching infestation levels and damaging plants. These helpful insects have a long residual effect on plants, as long as there are bugs to eat. Sometimes, you may take a plant home and find an aphid or two. Do not despair! The beneficial insects are on the job.

Photo taken by Lindsey Curé

Bee in pollen

Growing a Better Tomorrow

Here at Verde River Growers, our environmental impact is and always has been our top priority. Safety for pollinators, wildlife, our pets, our employees and, of course, our customers. We utilize many Organic growing practices in our pest control in place of harsh pesticides.

In 2013, we started implementing beneficial insects in a small 2,000 square foot greenhouse. It began with just Parasitic Wasps and predatory mites for aphids and spider mites. Since then, we have learned and have grown. Today, our beneficial insect use has expanded to a full 8 acres. We now release over 15 different beneficial insects including: Nematodes, Lady Bird Beetles, and Pirate bugs.

Photo taken by Lindsey Curé


Parasitic Wasps in Action

One of our most helpful beneficial insects is the parasitic wasp, Aphidius colemani. As the name suggests, this predator attacks aphids. These little wasps fly around and lay their eggs inside of aphids. The eggs then hatch and the larvae consume the aphid from the inside out, “mummifying” it. The mummified aphid then swells and becomes a translucent-cream color until the wasp emerges from the dead aphid as an adult.

Photos taken by Pamela Gonzales