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FarmerPalmersNT

Sick of thrips and fungus gnats? Breed Rove beetles!

58 posts in this topic

Seen a few of these and been meaning to share for a while. Was going to include in my megabed thread but figured it'd be useful as a standalone. 

 

Dalotia or Atheta coriaria are Rove beetles. Look like storm bugs you see in the summer or miniature devil's coach horse beetles. About 4mm long as an adult and 2mm as a juvenile. They mostly live in the top 2 inches of subsoil and will eat most larval stage bugs but love thrips and fungus gnats. They are voracious and aggressive and breed well if fed. Commercially they are available as staphyline and are expensive. 

 

large.60108900_1.jpglarge.atheta-coriaria-larva-02-1200x900.jpg

 

To breed your own:

 

Shopping list:

2litre plus tupperware box

Mesh/rosinbag/cheesecloth type material 

Layers crumb chicken feed (not pellets) 

Vermiculite 

Coco coir

Duct tape

 

1. Cut a hole in the lid of the box around 20% of the lid size, stick a section of mesh on it with duct tape to prevent escapes and provide fresh air

2. Mix vermiculite and coir 50/50 with enough water to make it moist/damp but not wet

3. Add a layer to about 1/4 depth and then sprinkle with a couple teaspoons chicken crumb (not too much) this is necessary to get them feeding on it, not a long term supply, add a layer of coir/vermi mix to about 1/3 full

4. Then place another section of mesh on top of the substrate (around 1/3 of the surface) and cover with a pile of feed

5. Add 10 or so adult beetles 

6. Every couple of days spray around the edges avoiding feed to give them some water

7. Remove and replace the feed every few days to a week by lifting out the mesh, it will have bugs in it and you will get a lot of mites and mould on it, don't worry. You can dump it on a saucer in the grow room and let them disperse if you want or put them back in the pot. 

8. After about a month it'll be crawling with them. Empty half the tub into the grow, and replace with fresh substrate. Repeat monthly and cackle wildly as they destroy pests. Dressing as a witch and shouting 'fly my pretties' tends to help. 

 

Breeding boxes:

large.IMG_20200322_131943_resize_28.jpg

 

I've made it sound a hassle but it's really not. This method is my own, the only other one involves mixing the food in the substrate. If you do that you'll get tons of mould and dead bugs. 

 

I've got an endless supply of these, so I can saturate my beds any time I like. No more fungus gnats or thrips, at all, ever. 

 

You can thank me later :D

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I suppose this works well outdoors too yeah? 

Just reintroducing the beetles more regularly? 

 

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Fantastic! Thanks.

 

I'm not sure i trust myself to go out and collect them as they do look like a lot of other things. Where online sells them? 

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10 minutes ago, Ned Flanders said:

I suppose this works well outdoors too yeah? 

Just reintroducing the beetles more regularly? 

 

Probably until the really cold weather yeah. They do pretty well in the greenhouse (sometimes called greenhouse beetles). 

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Just now, Nervous said:

Fantastic! Thanks.

 

I'm not sure i trust myself to go out and collect them as they do look like a lot of other things. Where online sells them? 

 

If you Google staphyline you'll get a few. They're about 40 quid but you only need buy once if you start breeding them.

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@FarmerPalmersNT Thanks, very much appreciated! 

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Posted (edited)

6 minutes ago, Nervous said:

@FarmerPalmersNT Thanks, very much appreciated! 

 

My pleasure. Hope others find it useful. Just to add, when you release there's a few choices. You can add a working breeding tub to the grow room and experiment with a small hole in the box to release a steady amount. Personally I chuck half the tub on the bed and refill for the mum tent. You can also chuck half on a tray or something and let them disperse and chuck the rest (which I do for the main room). Up to you, obviously the substrate will have some mouldy chicken feed and beetle shit in it so a decent amendment if you need it! 

 

In the mum tent I put down  a few feeding bowls with chicken feed in to keep numbers up preventatively. Made out of rosin jar covers, or milk bottle lids. Sometimes you see a couple eating from it like little dogs! 

Edited by FarmerPalmersNT
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I'll probably leave them in their box to begin with, I'm sure they'll venture out when they smell thrips. Fee fi fo fuck, god damn thrips are out of luck! 

 

Just now, FarmerPalmersNT said:

chicken feed


Just had a gander online and can't see much but pellets - could I crush them up? Or can I just use a mix of grains and cereals?  

Also, I may have a couple of indoor plants for these too... might be a stupid question seeing as they're "rove" beetles but do they tend to wander? 

 

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Dunno really, not seen any in the shed. They don't escape the boxes much. I'd say they would probably prefer remaining in the soil. 

 

Re food, Google layers mash. You'll get loads. 

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Some critters are on their way to me now! 

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Top bit of advice @FarmerPalmersNT nice pics too :yep:

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Outdoors,nematodes work very well at eradicating these bugs.It takes 3 treatments a week apart from each other to kill the thrips but will wipe out fungus gnats with 1.

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Posted (edited)

On 13/04/2020 at 10:32 AM, FarmerPalmersNT said:

Seen a few of these and been meaning to share for a while. Was going to include in my megabed thread but figured it'd be useful as a standalone. 

 

You can thank me later :D

Fuking clever dude :) I'll thank u now

Edited by Owderb
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Posted (edited)

I struggle with Thrips real bad man, will look into this for sure,really gets me down.

 

Do you have a good link for the live Beatles?

 

Fuck you thrips your all gonna die bitches!

 

Thanks @FarmerPalmersNT 

Edited by 2Fat2EatThat
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