The Land

Using Beneficial Predators to Combat Grapevine Pests

ladybug on a leaf Lake County growers often include beneficial predators in their Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy in the vineyard.  Common insects that are used include predatory mites, lacewings, and lady beetles among others.

Growers purchase insects from a commercial insectary and  put them out on the vines or encourage them to naturalize with habitats that provide pollen, nectar, and shelter.





Beneficial Predators at Six Sigma Ranch

We make many of our farming decisions based on what we learn from the natural forests that sprawl across our ranch. In those forests, trees grow tall and beautiful without any fertilizers, and they are not bothered by insects or disease. The ecosystem is in perfect harmony, and our goal is to copy this deep-rooted balance in the vineyards.
We’ve found that the key to natural farming is to observe the vineyard very closely. By monitoring bug populations, for example, we learn how many predatory bugs we need to set into the vineyards to keep in check the plant-eating bugs that harm the vines. With this strategy, we mimic what happens naturally in the nearby forests. With a calculated population of predatory bugs and maintenance of a good habitat for them, we can avoid using synthetic insecticides in our vineyards.

Dig Deeper -  Biological Control and Natural Enemies of Invertebrates

Biological control is the beneficial action of parasites, pathogens, and predators in managing pests and their damage. Biocontrol provided by these living organisms, collectively called “natural enemies,” is especially important for reducing the numbers of pest insects and mites.  Read more....