It’s often spoken about, this holistic approach to pest control, but not widely practiced it seems, for a variety of reasons. One being the lack of understanding of what it actually entails and two being the belief that it doesn’t work. Well Bidvest Execuflora have news for all the doubters; it’s working like a bomb and they’re sleeping soundly at night knowing they’re eradicating their pests and diseases without harming their environment. A massive step forward for any business that produces, manages and installs as many plants as they do.
The holistic approach to dealing with pests and diseases is not merely looking for natural remedies instead of chemical ones to treat problem areas. It is the combined use of predatory insects, bio-pesticides and bio-fertilisation in the production of healthy plants. After a trip to the US and meeting the ‘Bug Lady’, Suzanne Wainwright-Elliot, of Bug Lady Consultancy, Execuflora saw the potential for the use of bio-pesticides in their business. Suzanne introduced them to a range of plant and people friendly products which has helped them achieve a reduction in pests in their green houses.
Many people believe bio-pesticides to be the ‘soft option’, which simply isn’t true. They offer the tools to manage resistance to pesticides, fill in the gaps created by banned chemicals and respond to requests for products with reduced chemical residues. Predatory insects like the predatory mite, which eats red spider mite, is a wonderful alternative to chemical insecticides, purely based on the fact that over the last six years red spider mite has grown a substantial resistance to chemical insecticides.
According to Shaun Armand, GM of Execuflora’s nursery, which supports the rental of more than 90,000 of their units in the field, this holistic approach to plant care is working, even better than they’d hoped.