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Questions about beneficial insects

When is the best time to apply...

Beneficial nematodes?

They can be applied in the spring or fall. The pest to be controlled should be present; the nematodes cannot be used as a preventative measure. The soil temperature should be at least 50-55 degrees F at the time of release. The ground should be kept moist, so water before and after release if no rain has fallen. They are best applied near dusk.

Sta-Home™ Ladybeetles?

They should be released in late spring (early April to early June) depending on what part of the country you live in. The pest(s) to be controlled must be present or the ladybeetles have a tendency to leave in search of other food. The release area should be lightly watered before releasing them. These should be applied near dusk.

Green Lacewings?

Since they are received in the form of eggs, they can be released as soon as they are received or you may choose to wait to ensure that larvae are available before putting them out. If waiting, keep the package at room temperature out of direct light and watch for movement. The newly hatched larvae are very small but you can see them with the naked eye if you look carefully. By following this procedure before releasing them, you can be assured that they are hatching. If the pest(s) to be controlled is not present, the lacewings will tend to search elsewhere for food. Therefore, we recommend waiting to order until the pest to be controlled is present. The newly hatched larvae need moisture, so, if it doesn't rain, lightly mist the release area daily for about a week after release. They are best applied near dusk.


Trichogramma can be released throughout the growing season as pests are detected. A good rule of thumb is when you see adults of the pest flying about (usually in the form of a moth or butterfly), they are probably laying eggs. The trichogramma are sent on cards as pupae ready to emerge. The card, in its release carton, should be placed within the infested area upon receipt. Ensure that the carton is not in direct sunlight. The adult trichogramma will emerge ready to find eggs of the host insect pest to be controlled.

If I do not specify when I want my insects sent, when will I receive them?

Our scheduled release dates for shipping beneficial insects are based on USDA historical weather patterns. Beginning in the spring, insects are shipped in March. If you prefer to give us a different date, we will be glad to honor your request.

What if I can't use the insects at the time I receive them?

Due to the variability of the weather, you may receive them when conditions are too extreme. There is no way to preserve the insects until conditions are more favorable, so go ahead and release them. In this case, contact Customer Service (via email, see Contact Us, phone or mail) for a replacement shipment. If weather conditions are unfavorable prior to your scheduled shipment date, please contact us and we will delay shipment until you think the time is right.

How to extract the nematodes from the package?

To extract nematodes from the package, remove the plastic covering and empty contents into 2 quarts clean tap water.

How long after application do beneficial nematodes begin to work?

They actually start working within 48 to 72 hours. Using a spade or shovel, turn up the ground where nematodes were applied, to check for dead larvae. Grub larvae will turn brown once infected. Depending on the size of the area and the pest population, total control time varies. Beneficial nematodes will spread from infected grub/larvae to infected pests during the growing season.

What other fertilizers, fungicides, and pesticides can be used at the same time as beneficial insects?

All of our fertilizers and fungicides can be used with any of our beneficial insects. Our pesticides can be used along with nematodes with no separation time between applications of either one. Our other beneficial insects can be adversely affected by some of our pesticides. It is best to apply pesticides in the evening when direct contact with beneficial insects can be greatly reduced. Another good approach would be to apply a pesticide, such as Pyola, about 7 to 10 days before releasing the beneficial insects.

Can Milky Spore be used at the same time you are using nematodes?


Do any of our beneficial insects prey on each other?

No, not if release instructions are followed. Beneficial insects will not attack plants either.

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