I only heard about IPM (Integrated Pest Management) very recently. It's certainly been around for a while, but I had no idea it was so easily accessible in South Africa. It wasn't before, but thanks to the guys at LivingSeeds.co.za, you can now order live pests, straight to your door, anywhere in South Africa!
1. What is IPM (Integrated Pest Management)?
IPM is essentially just a case of finding the right "good pests" that will eradicate the "bad pests", without having any major side effects to your grow.
For example, if you have spider mites, you might want to have a look at the Spider Mite Eliminator Combo from LivingSeeds.co.za. This consists of two pests, namely: BioPersimilis and BioSwirskii. Together these two bugs can make quite a dent in a spider mite population!
Depending on the pests you have, you might need to look at other options. Have a look at the huge range of options here.
2. How effective is IPM?
It has been applied very successfully across various industries. Even some wineries in South Africa make use of IPM instead of traditional pesticides. It's for this "all natural" approach that you might also want to use it in your own garden!
The effectiveness will depend on various factors. The best is to speak to the pros about your pest problem and how you can incorporate IPM into your grow routine.
3. Won't the bugs die on the way to me?
The pests are shipped from Israel. Or rather, an ice cold box full of eggs is shipped from Israel. The box arrives just as the eggs have hatched, leaving a bunch of hungry critters, ready to be unleashed in your garden. Some probably die, but the vast majority are ready to devour your pests!
When my box arrived, I threw a few of them on a piece of paper, just to check if there are some live ones. There were lots of live ones and I could clearly see them scurry off! Very cool to think these came halfway across the globe!
4. Won't adding pests just create another new pest problem?
When I first applied IPM, I was thinking that adding a new kind of mite to battle my original mite problem, might end up with a new mite problem. What if these new mites also make cobwebs everywhere or end up eating the plant or become so many that they cover the leaves from the light.
None of this happened.
I barely even noticed the new mites. I saw a slow decrease in the overall mite population, but I think I needed to do a few iterations before I can officially say that it solved my problem.
I can say with certainty that the new pests are unlikely to become a problem. If they wipe out their food source, they will most likely just leave. At this point, if your original pest comes back, you might have to look at placing another order for more pests.