Biological controls (aka “Bios”) are living organisms used as a method of controlling pests. Bios have evolved past ladybugs and lacewings. Now, large scale horticulture facilities rely on our various beneficial mites, insects and microbes to control spider mites, russet mites, aphids, spider mites and other pests.
At urban-gro, we believe that Bios are an important component of a true Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. To most effectively control a pest, a biocontrol agent requires human aid giving it a colonizing ability, which allows its populations to stay ahead of the pest. This involves a scheduled, repeated release of biocontrols as specified in our SOP IPM programs. This tactic is appropriate for high income crops like cannabis and it works best for controlling pests in enclosed spaces (ie, greenhouses and indoor production facilities).
When should you consider a biocontrol program for your cannabis crop?
Our programs are designed to use a “proactive mode” — this mode utilizes Bios in an ongoing basis. Knowing the biology of both Bios and the insect pests they go after allows us to produce programs that do not allow the pests to get established. But, if pests have a head start, crop damage can occur before the Bios can catch up. When pest populations are high, we knock them back with the use of organic pesticides, and then use scheduled preventative applications of Bios. This prevents their return.