Controlling Pests with Ladybugs

Ladybugs at Marana Greenhouse

The team at the Marana Arizona Greenhouse release ladybugs to control pests as a part of their integrated pest management approach


Don Henne talks about IPM or Integrated Pest Management at the Marana Greenhouse


Are bugs as big of a problem in a greenhouse as they are in the field? 


The answer is yes and the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) team at the Bayer Marana Greenhouse manage for these pests in the greenhouse everyday. IPM involves a list of elements that are brought together to support its processes to help protect our plants from pest damage.


Releasing ladybugs into the ecosystem at the greenhouse as a natural enemy to the pests is just one of the innovative strategies put into place to help reduce the amount of pesticide used on site, it's also known as biological control. Other methods include monitoring pest thresholds, planting beneficial insect refugia and manual removal of the pests. 


The Marana IPM team doesn’t typically spray the corn plants that have had ladybugs released on them unless it’s absolutely necessary. We prefer to use products that don’t harm the ladybugs, such as systemic insecticides that are taken up by the plant and only affect the pests that are feeding on those plants. 


IPM is also one of the most important practices to help sustain agriculture around the world. IPM makes it a point to consider all possible techniques that are available, economical, safe and environmentally friendly to preserve the plants and promote growth.