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  • Can I release predatory insects indoors?

    Created by robltft on

    Does anyone have any experience using beneficial insects INSIDE the house? It seems like they could grow as out of control as the pests in the first place.

    I’m an orchid grower with thrips or spider mites for the 1st time in 5 years. (Silver marks on undersides of leaves; rotting patches above.) Presumably this is because I moved from a foggy area of San Francisco to an area with more sun/less humidity.


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  • #13763


    My neighbor used some ladybugs in a greenhouse room that was attached to her house. She used some row cover to keep them on her plants and not in her house and only a few escaped. I'll ask her some more questions and if she would do it again or not.


    I think that you're alright… Remember that beneficial insects only feed on pest insects. They do not eat plants. In most cases, once the pests are gone so are the beneficials – they either starve to death or have to leave in search of more food.



    If your ladybugs get into the house and get comfortable, you could become infested. A ladybug infestation isn't dangerous, i don't think, but they can attract bugs that are predatory towards ladybugs, and then you might have a problem. Having said that, I'll also say that i've used ladybugs to successfully get rid of aphids on many plants right up against my house, and i've never had a problem inside the house. and I live in an old house with lots of chinks and drafts, so if any house would be infested with anything, I would think it would be this house.


    Typically, your garden store variety ladybug (Hippodamia convergens), which is native to North America, will not become a problem indoors. However, the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle (Harmonia axyridis), which of course is native to Asia, can be a seasonal nuisance in homes. The USDA has a very good fact sheet on the little buggers.
    The Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle



    I know they are tiny, but has anyone tried using these beneficials inside? We have had problems with Indian Meal moths for years ever since an infested bag of bird seed was brought in the house. Is there anything else in the house these little things can feed on after the moths are gone, or will they die off.



    Moths don't like herbs so put some sachets around the house and get rid of those moths. Doesn't seem to matter what herbs and it sure beats those horrible mothballs, which I hate the smell of.



    I have an inside greenhouse behind my house. I have had on and off challenges with SPIDER MITES.
    I have been very successful with LADY BUGS. Occassionaly some will be on my clothes and I track them in the house. They don’t seem to ever have caused a problem. They are just looking for food and they do not bite humans or pets.
    They have in fact been attracted to some indoor house plants and found something on them that they wanted.
    After they have rid the house plants of pests, they usually dissappear, most likely just fly out the door when it is opened.
    PREDATOR MITES are anothe story. They also can be brought inside from your clothes, and they usually die off or leave in search of food.
    They however can occassionally bite and may produce a very small red spot at the site of the bite. It does not last and goes away very fast.
    The PREDATOR MITES are very successfull against any form of Spider Mites.
    Do not use both the Lady Bugs and THE predator mites at the same time. The LADY BUGS do not discriminate against the Good Predator Mites. They will eat them also.
    Many garden shops or HYDROPONICS Supply stores carry both the Lady Bugs and PREDATOR MITES.
    The LADY BUGS are somewhat seasonal in availability.
    If you can purchase one of the Lady Bug Houses featured on this site and some “Attractant” for them, you should be able to have your own Lady bugs for a long time.
    I had one container I let loose in my indoor greenhouse. They went crazy for a few weeks, and after about a month I noticed there were many dead ones on the floor next to the baseboard.
    In the next days and couple weeks I noticed more Lady bugs around. Guess they were fornicating and made some babies.
    I will have to look up the reproductive properties of Lady Bugs.
    Lots of nice ideas here, thanks, Joe



    i HAVE SPIDER MITES. i HAVE BEEN GROWING FOR 20 YEARS AND THIS IS THE WORST INFESTATION i HAVE EVER HAD. i have tried everything. bleaching, cleaning, neem, lady bugs, lady bug spray, beneficial mites, foggers…………..now going into the thousands of dollars. Any new ideas or do you know if CO2 application works…………HELP!



    I also have used “Mighty Wash” successfully. I spray under and over the leaves every three days and that seemed to kill them and keep them away on my last flower. The reason for every three days is that after they lay the eggs, they hatch every three days and one of the first things they do is mate and lay more eggs then spin their web around the buds.
    I start spraying the plants when they are in the Clone Stage after they start getting new leaves and tons of roots.
    I also use Azamax in the water barrel.
    After that harvest I used bleach in water and cleaned the ceilings, floors, and walls.
    I took my buckets outside and cleaned them with hot water, Peroxide and blew them off with my pressure washer.
    For the Hydrotron I used 35% Hydrogen Peroxide to clean it. Let it soak an a container then drained and flushed it a few times.
    I hooked everything up in my flower room and put thirty gallons of water in my barrel and added two cups of Peroxide. I then ran my fill and drain every hour for thirty minuets.
    I am bad at keeping leaves off the floor that drop. I need to keep them picked up from the floor and inside the top of the buckets. Think I will put my shop vac out there to do that.
    I read the mites are attracted to the dead leaves from a long way off.
    I am going to also get one of them timed sprayers that goes off from time to time. I did that in the past, however that was one of the things my crook Helper stole from me so I need to get another one.
    This Flower group, I noticed one web around a flower on the bottom and let loose the whole bag of lady bugs yesterday. I will see if they got the little buggers before they got out of control.
    Awhile ago I did have a serious infestation. I had used lady bugs and it seemed to slow them down.
    But when they get out of control I think even the lady bugs cannot eat that many. I then noticed the lady bugs were gone.
    I then did get forty thousand Predator Mites and let them loose. That seemed to work and after one week I did not see any of the regular Mites scurring around. I saw some Predator Mites however and they dissapeared. Must have run out of food and left or died out.
    One final word of advice. Do not Sprinkle the Predator Mites on top or on the buds or leaves of the plants. They come in this fine ground corn meal. The Tiny flecks of corn meal sticks to the BUDS and it does not look good to someone smoking it.
    If you want to get the webs off the flowers, use a soft bristle paint or bottle brush and kind of wind the brush around as you brush the flowers.
    For me it does not matter that much. I make most of my stuff into Rick Simpson Oil, “RSO”. Any remaining critters get soaked in Alcohol and that kills them. It getts filtered twice before I put it in the rice cooker.
    Then they get killed in the Rice Cooker as I cook the Alcohol off to make the Oil.
    I think once you get infested it is almost impossible not to get them into your grow and flower room again.
    They actually start in the grow/veg stage and seem to hide real good. I vegged some plants last year for three months till they got 36″ tall. I never saw them untill they went into flower.
    So, good luck. Joe

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