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Showing posts from July, 2013

Biological battles in the glasshouses

By Helen Roberts and Nicola Temple
In the calm and serenity of the glasshouses, among the flowering lotus and breathtaking orchids, there is a lethal battle going on – biological warfare between predator and prey. About two months ago, Penny started to use biological control in the glasshouses as a chemical-free means of managing pests like whitefly and aphids. Parasitic wasps and beetles are released in areas of infestation and left to do what comes naturally to them...prey upon pests.
Biological control is a system that has been used by horticulturalists since the early 1800s. The University of Bristol Botanic Garden uses biological controls as it avoids the use of toxic chemicals and also controls pests that have become resistant to pesticide treatment. The method is more economical and certainly more environmentally friendly.
However, it’s not just entirely a simple matter of releasing the predators and then forgetting about it. First, the pests in the greenhouse need to be properly…