Costs of Mail-Order Beneficials
by Shane Smith. Fulcrum, 2000.
you first peruse a bug catalog or price
list, you might suffer from sticker shock. One order of bugs might run
anywhere from $15 to $75. And to add insult to injury, they must
be shipped "overnight" or "next day," which can run as much as $35 to
All that may
not be so bad until you realize
that it might take more than a few shipments to get a good
of critters in your greenhouse. If you go with only one shipment, you
find that the population of good guys goes down as their food supply
bugs) is depleted. When this happens, it can give the pests a chance to
establish beyond the capability of your beneficial bugs to ever catch
with their numbers. By doing a few releases, you can even out these
swings and gain better control.
One way to
minimize costs is to get together
with other greenhouse enthusiasts and split an order. Many bugs are
in commercial quantities, and by splitting an order two or three ways,
you will still have plenty of beneficials for your greenhouse. When the
order arrives, simply split it up.
way to minimize costs is to locate
a good supplier that is the nearest one to you. Then you might be able
to select a cheaper shipping method and still get the bugs within 1 or
2 days. This can provide substantial savings, because then you can
go with second-day shipping versus next-day shipping.
You should know
that there are many levels
of bug suppliers. There are wholesalers, retailers, and companies that
simply sell beneficials as a sideline to their larger gardening or
business. I always prefer dealing with companies whose main business is
the selling of beneficial critters for greenhouse control. (The
Appendix of Greenhouse
Gardener's Companion: has a number of companies
It never hurts to ask them if this is their primary business or if they
also sell wheelbarrows and trowels, too.
Insects Slide Show
Gardener's Companion: Growing Food and Flowers in Your
Shane Smith. Fulcrum
this fully revised edition
of a best-selling classic, veteran gardener Shane Smith embraces this
“lifestyle” approach to greenhouse gardening.
Through lively writing that
balances wit with commonsense advice, Smith draws on his more than 20
experience to cover everything you need to know to establish a charming
and productive greenhouse.
our review of this title
in the Book