Commercial Biological Controls for Insect and Mite Pests of Ornamentals
Vertebrates such as birds and mice also serve as biological controls of insects and mites. This chapter provides a brief discussion of the various sources of beneficials. It focuses on commercially available insects, mites, and beneficial nematodes that prey upon and/or parasitize insect and mite pests of ornamentals. Classical biological control has been extremely successful against several pests of landscape plants such as scales, sawflies, and mealybugs. Five species are currently available for biological control of thrips. Two species of phytoseiid mites, Neoseiulus cucumeris and N. barkeri, are similar in appearance to spider mite predators, but consume thrips as well as a wide range of mites. Steinernema carpocapsae is the most readily available nematode for control of soil pests and woodborers. Pesticides that allow some survival of biological controls include the insect growth regulators such as Dimilin and Enstar, neem, and the insecticidal soaps and oils.