Protect your Harvests With Predators
All farmers work with the risk of pest infestations. If they do not pay attention, pests will destroy harvests and leave farmers’ pockets empty. To cut their losses, most farmers buy pesticides, but these also come at a cost to our health and pollutes our land.
Instead of pesticides, there is a way to protect crops naturally by introducing the predator insect of your pest. Predators are insects used in biological control, that do not harm your crops, but instead eat the pests in your field, eliminating infestations with their appetite!
You may have already noticed the lady beetle – she is a fierce predator that feasts on one of farmers common pest problems – aphids. She hunts aphids at all stages of her life cycle.
Even more ferocious is the lacewing- because she eats almost all pests, and keeps eating, even when full. Lacewings can cover a larger radius searching for their food, eating up to 300 aphids per day when still a larva. As an adult, she only feeds on flower nectar, and lays up to 900 more eggs. Other warriors of biological control include Trichogramma, a micro-wasp that lays its eggs into the egg of the pests, so that the pests are eaten alive, and can’t hatch.
Predators are nature’s solution to healthy plants. And today, we can replicate nature genius in a man-made setting, to easily increase predators needed in our farm. Predators allow us as farmers to work with natural solutions instead of spraying chemical pesticides.
You can do this, by purchasing pest predators from a laboratory.
In a biological control laboratory, small teams in simple places multiply predators in large numbers. They start by raising pests as feed for predator, and work to collect predator eggs.
Adult predators are farmed in boxes that re-create the environment which they like to grow and lay thousands of eggs. Because most insects lay their eggs under a leaf, a simple piece of dark fabric offers them a similar environment.
Once the eggs are ready for collection, they are transferred to cards using sticky glue. The cards make it easy to release the predators by hanging them as eggs ready to hatch and invade your plants and trees. Eggs and larvae can also be transported to the field in wood shavings that are sprinkled on top of your plant leaves.
When facing a bad pest infestation, you will decrease time between predators’ release. This guarantees they catch pests in all stages of their life cycle.
Biological control using predators does involve some planning, such as regular trips to the laboratory and releasing them immediately after.
- You will need to move the predators from the lab with great care, in an insulated container, keeping them cool so they do not hatch during transportation and start feeding on each other.
- You will distribute them evenly, on different parts of your field. As they hatch, the larvae start to hunt, eliminating pests in a radius of 12 meters, for about a week. Then they cocoon and become adults.
- Well fed, the female predators reproduce and start a new generation of locally raised predators. Your field becomes their new colony.
- Sounds like a good return on investment, regenerative and safe for us and safe for nature.