MSOB: Considering Beneficial Insect Populations When Managing Mites

Brian GermanIndustry, Making Sense of Biologicals

Beneficial Insect Populations

Beneficial insect populations play an important role in mite management approaches. Senior Product Development Manager for Marrone Bio Innovations, Dr. Melissa O’Neal said scouting is important to understand what types of predators may also be in the field.

“When you do have those beneficials present, we often see the mite threshold be higher because we’ll expect some control by feeding of those beneficials,” O’Neal explained. “In selecting products, looking for products like Venerate XC and Grandevo WDG that have been tested with most of these beneficials and don’t show any reduction in the populations of those beneficials, is very important because we don’t want to knock out natural enemy populations.”

Beneficial insect populations can also play a less obvious role in overall pest management. O’Neal said that growers will also want to consider other secondary pests that are in fields when making a material selection.

“When you use broad-spectrum insecticides, you knock out the natural enemies that are keeping those secondary pests in check,” said O’Neal. “Then all of a sudden you see their populations rear up and become a level that you may need to treat because they are at an economic injury level at that point due to the reduction of their natural enemy populations.”

Listen to the full episode with Dr. Melissa O’Neal below.

‘Making Sense of Biologicals’ is a series from AgNet West that dives into various topics with unbiased experts in the field of biologics to help the industry better understand the product category.

This episode of Making Sense of Biologicals is made possible by Marrone Bio Innovations, leading the movement to environmentally sustainable farming practices through the discovery, development and sale of innovative biological products for crop protection, crop health and crop nutrition. Marrone Bio’s portfolio of 18 products helps a wide range of growers – from row crops and fruits and vegetables to tree nuts, vines, and greenhouse production – operate more sustainably while increasing their return on investment. For educational webinars and biological IPM programs, visit