In order to get the most out of your Rove beetles, it is important to understand what steps to take prior to introducing them as well as how they work, how to release, where to release and how much to release. Please read through this guide prior to introducing your Rove Beetles for best results.
Steps Prior to Introduction
A. Look at your watering practices. It is very common to over water. It is known that over watering leads to root issues as well as pest problems. If you are in a living soil setup, it is common to water only 5-10% of total soil volume (If growing in 10 gallon pot, each watering is only .5 to 1 gallon). Your frequency of watering depends on the environmental conditions of your grow area like temperature and relative humidity as well as the overall VPD. To further complicate things, each plant is slightly different in their water uptake so you need to constantly assess and re-assess. Build A Soil made a very good guide to help growers dial this in here.
B. Stop using IPM root drench products. We recommend you stop using any products in your root drenches that are aimed at eliminating any insects in the soil. These products can kill the beneficial insects and organisms in your soil. Please use discretion and do your research prior to any root drench applications.
How They Work
Rove beetles are more effective when introduced prior to any infestation or problem. When applied in an active pest infestation, they tend to take several weeks to establish a population big enough to make a dent. Once rove beetles enter their new homes, they immediately start eating the larvae of fungus gnats, soil stages of thrips, root aphids and several other undesirable root born pests. Since it does take rove beetles a little longer to establish and start making a dent in your pest issues, we recommend utilizing our Bio-Diversity Insect Inoculation packs for serious pest issues.
Rove beetles feed at a rate of roughly 5-10 larvae or eggs a day in both the larvae and adult phases. They have a growth stage span of roughly 21 days before they become adults and live relatively long lives although no concrete study has been conducted. After mating, the female rove beetles will lay roughly 6 to 8 eggs a day for a 2 to 3 week periods of time during adulthood. Females are known to lay up to 700 eggs in their lifespan. This makes the rove beetle extremely effective in the long-term control of pests due to their extraordinary regenerative ability. This also means that patience is key when using Rove Beetles as a means for managing an already existing issue.
How to Release
For best results, clear a little hole through any mulch in the release spot. Our rove beetles come packaged in an organic vermiculite/coco coir blend along with a small amount of organic seed blended for food. We package them this way so they are able to sustain during shipping and also so all gardeners, organic or non, can simply dump the contents of the package into their container or greenhouse. When distributing in different spots from the same insect container, gently agitate the container to bring beetles up to the top. Tip container slowly while tapping and allow beetles to fall out. If needed you can use your finger to push them, they will not bite. Repeat in each location as necessary. You can also use a vertical walled plastic cup to dump each group into for counting prior to release.
After releasing, hold on watering for at least 24 hours to allow them to establish without any disruption.
Where to Release
Rove beetles should be released in the center of each container or centralized locations in a green house environment. If there is an existing pest condition, it is best to locate the areas with highest activity and release beetles in that spot. The beetles will start establishing wherever you place them, but over time they will grow in population and expand over your entire grow space.
How Much to Release
As a preventative measure it is suggested to apply 1-5 beetles per 10 square feet. As a means to take on an existing pest condition, we recommend to double that or triple it. Since these are regenerative insects and it is essential for them to reproduce at optimal rates, we have adjusted the amounts below based on that.
Follow this table for further help: