Dalotia (Atheta) coriaria – The Rove Beetle – A flight-capable beetle that doesn’t look like a beetle. A fast-moving soil dwelling predator known for its aggressive feeding on fungus gnat larvae, thrips pupae, springtails and shore flies; possible control of root mealybugs. Dalotia populations should mirror those of their prey, once established. Being opportunistic, their numbers may stay fairly high in an area such as a greenhouse with a gravel floor or raised beds, or a garden with lots of organic matter. This is definitely a good thing, as it may allow for more infrequent releases.
Optimum performance: 55-95° F
Release rates: 0.5/sq ft. Can increase to 1/sq ft to speed up establishment in areas of high infestation
Note: For more soil pest control options, also see Stratiolaelaps, under Thrip control.
Biological Pest Control Agents
Biocontrols are an effective tool to growers in just about any situation. Bear in mind that when using biocontrols, a new set
of rules must be followed:
1. Growers must reduce the amounts of pesticides used, and in most cases, either substitute what’s on hand or, better yet, simply discontinue the use of pesticides entirely. (The outcome of this is typically a major reduction in applicator labor.)
2. Multiple releases of biocontrols are necessary in nearly every case, like most sprays, and should be thought of as a part of an overall program or strategy.
3. All live biocontrols are shipped next day air, from the grower, therefore freight costs can be high. Detailed short-term storage, handling and release instructions are included with every order.
Orders must be placed by Wednesday 12pm CST to get shipment by the following week.
Note to growers: Information provided here is not complete. More information is needed to successfully implement a biocontrol program.