Our biggest pest in the greenhouse this year are tiny insects called thrips. Thrips will attack pretty much anything in the greenhouse but are particularly fond of cucumbers and nasturtium.
We use several other invertebrates to fight the thrips. Cucumaris mites, hypoaspis mites and the pirate bugs shown here.
[pullquote] If you’ve ever had a crooked cucumber, it’s most likely crooked because a thrip damaged it while it was in its infancy. Thrips can also kill our cucumber plants which is why we turn to the pirate bugs for help.[/pullquote]
The pirate bugs are my favourite of the anti-thrip trio because I can easily see them (they’re small, but not as small as mites) and because they’re called pirate bugs (best bug name ever).
These bugs are a critical part of our non-chemical insect control program.