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Old 02-17-2019, 08:46 AM #1
00bladerunner
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Beneficial bugs

I just recently started experimenting with beneficial bugs to help control other bugs on my plants.
The only bug I seem to get, is thrips. I constantly battle these buggers. In the past I've used the Monterey garden spray with spinosad, but I've been having a really hard time trying to get it here in Canada. No one will send it anymore.
So last few crops I used nematodes aswell as an organic spray, and was able to control the thrips pretty good, but not perfect.
I recently found a nursery that sells these predator mites. And they recommended using stratiolaelaps and cucumeris. They use them for their Rose's, and say that they work amazing. There not as expensive as the nematodes but sound like they control the thrips better. Anyone out there have any experience with stratiolaelaps or cucumeris? Or any other beneficial mite?
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:56 PM #2
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I refuse to use any chemicals at all on my pot and I fought mites for about 3 or 4 grows. I used predator mites but conditions must be near perfect for them to survive. And, they are expensive. And, they don't seem to eliminate them. They do help with control but they didn't eliminate them.

The last time, I tried ladybugs. They damn near eliminated the mites. I was mildly impressed. I didn't have a problem 'picking ladybugs out of my buds' like a lot of people have complained about with ladybugs.

If I ever get them again, I would try ladybugs again.

Only had mites. Don't recall ever having thripes.
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:29 PM #3
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Cucumeris will be fine if we are talking about veg. Higher temps of flowering room may require swirskii mites. Thrips larvae hatch in the soil, so if you are reusing soil it may be an idea to introduce hypoaspis miles, a soil dwelling predatory mite!
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:42 PM #4
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Friend or foe, they gotta take a shit some time. The predator wasps probably jettison their turds mid flight returning to base so maybe less on your grail stash. The infantry guys, as much as I thank them for their service, probably leave as many turds on your buds as the enemy. I’d rather smoke the enemies dead corpse than their poo... I remain reluctant to send in the troops.
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:26 PM #5
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Here's a good source for predators and info.
https://www.buglogical.com/biological-solutions/
Good luck. -granger
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:35 AM #6
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Invest in some Dalotia. They're generalists and both their larval and adult stages feed voraciously on the soil dwelling stages of thrips, fungus gnats, and pretty much anything that moves in soil including many beneficials. The benefits are that they are comparatively huge and are big eaters, they are probably native to your area, and they fly so they'll occupy the grow space pretty fast and stay there until your soil is clean.

I've used Stratiolaelaps a lot and like them. They'll eventually colonize your grow space as long as there's food. The jury is still out on whether Dalotia eats Stratiolaelaps but some people swear by the combination for everything including rice root aphids.
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:50 AM #7
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Yeah, sounds like there's lots of predator mites out there that could work. I cant imagine the predator mite poop being half as bad as thrips crap. Either way, your right, I don't like poo, but the less poo the better for now...I'm trying not to spray anything on my girls anymore, so gonna experiment with these predator mites a bit.
What I would really like to figure out, is why do I keep getting these damn thrips so often. I clean everything real good, and run the ozonator between crop, to help kill anything that might be in the room. My best guess is that there probably coming in on me.
Anyway, thanks for all the input, I'll definitely start checking into predator mites alot further.
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:41 AM #8
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I never had an issue with predator mite poop lol! The predators are only pooping when there are prey. If there ain’t nothing to eat there is no poop, from either side!

So get the predators and eliminate all problems in your life. If infestation is very heavy you may need an ipm approach, before introduction of predators, to make a dent in pest numbers. Neem oil etc!
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:41 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00bladerunner View Post
I just recently started experimenting with beneficial bugs to help control other bugs on my plants.
The only bug I seem to get, is thrips. I constantly battle these buggers. In the past I've used the Monterey garden spray with spinosad, but I've been having a really hard time trying to get it here in Canada. No one will send it anymore.
So last few crops I used nematodes aswell as an organic spray, and was able to control the thrips pretty good, but not perfect.
I recently found a nursery that sells these predator mites. And they recommended using stratiolaelaps and cucumeris. They use them for their Rose's, and say that they work amazing. There not as expensive as the nematodes but sound like they control the thrips better. Anyone out there have any experience with stratiolaelaps or cucumeris? Or any other beneficial mite?
Think of fighting pests as asymmetric warfare.

Problem -> Solution

insects -> microbes
microbes -> temperatures & airflow
insects & microbes -> nutrients

Microbes get everywhere, so they're perfect for going after small insects.

Microbes themselves usually have optimal temperatures and humidity levels at which they grow. Change those, and you stop their growth.

People get obsessed with large insects going after small insects, because it looks spectacular to the naked eye.


Specifically for thrips, I would do the following.

1. Use neem oil with dish soap, and the recommended number of drops of pyrethrin.

Pyrethrin is made from chrysanthemums and is allowed in organic agriculture. (However never spray anything on the flowers.)

The neem oil will suffocate them, the soap will dissolve their soft bodies and eggs, and the pyrethrin will paralize them.

This should knock them back immediately.

2. Regularly shower them with worm tea or compost tea

This has lots of microbes in them that will compete with other microbes and deter insects, who mostly stay away from fungi, bacteria, etc.

3. Nutrients

From mid-flowering onwards, plants need more K for the stacking which requires branch growth, including thickening the branches as the buds grow heavier, K is also associated with plant health; calcium, which is a non-mobile nutrient which means it becomes part of the cell - the more growth, the more cells, the more non-mobile nutrients you need; trace elements, which are also non-mobile nutrients; sulphur to make terpenes and deters insects, which use chemicals to find their way around; silica, which is the stuff resin is made of, and which also toughens the cell walls, again deterring insects and some fungi. Magnesium keeps the leaves happy and phototropic throughout the grow, from seedling to late flower.

Last edited by TanzanianMagic; 02-20-2019 at 07:07 PM..
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Old 02-20-2019, 06:32 PM #10
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Lots of great info here, thanks.

Don't thrips have part of their life-cycle in the soil? I'm not sure if the varieties which attack cannabis lay eggs in lower plant growth, but some do. A solid 1" layer of gnat-nix (pre-rinsed of course) puts a stop to these types of activities.

Downside, I can see this being a problem for other bennies which breed in soil the same way.
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