Originally Posted by 00bladerunner
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.
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.