Predator Spotlight: Rove Beetle (Atheta coriaria, Dalotia coriaria)
Pests Controlled: Thrips, Fungus Gnats, Root Aphids, Springtails, soil dwelling pests
Many common cannabis pests live in the soil at some stage of their life. Beneficial Rove Beetles can help control those soil pests. They are a great predator to help maintain a healthy soil environment.
Rove Beetles are predatory in both their adult and larval stages. Their color ranges from pale yellow larvae to dark brown adults. Adults grow up to 4 mm in length and are long and narrow. It takes 3 to 4 days for eggs to hatch, and their complete life cycle typically takes 17 to 21 days. Adult Rove Beetles eat up to 20 pests per day. If established in a greenhouse Rove Beetles may survive and reproduce year round which makes them an excellent preventative predator. When disturbed or frightened they raise their back end up into the air, which gives them an almost scorpion like appearance (they cannot sting, it is just a scare tactic). They tend to hide in cracks and crevices inside the greenhouse or garden, which can make it a challenge to find them after release.
Rove Beetles are very easy to apply. Simply sprinkle them in small batches of 50 to 100 around the soil or media surface and they will do the rest. They can both crawl and fly, which allows them to disperse and cover a large area. Adults are nocturnal, so if possible release them in the dark. For prevention, apply at a rate of 1 beetle per 10 sq ft. If the pests are out of control, you can easily apply 1 per sq ft along with Predatory Nematodes or Fungus Gnat Predators. For best results, try to apply Rove Beetles early in the season before Fungus Gnats and other soil pests are showing up in large amounts.
Healthy plants need a solid foundation. It is important to minimize pests that can damage your plants roots. Rove Beetles are a great addition to your good bug population, and will help keep your soil and roots in good shape. Many of those same soil pests will “mature” and move up into the foliage to do further damage. Rove Beetles will catch them before this happens, and minimize pest problems for the rest of the growing season.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the medicine.