Controlling pests natures way!
We are committed to finding natural solutions to even the toughest of pest problems, and the key to success is knowledge. The better we can identify and understand the root cause of a problem the easier it is to correct it. So, if we can give you the ability to quickly and easily identify garden pests and garden heroes, and understand how they relate to each other and their environment, it is in everyone's best interest.
In order to facilitate this, Living Planet Solutions will be using this space to educate and inform. Below you will find a sample of our key to land invertebrates, currently under construction, that will help you quickly and easily identify a wide range of critters that you may come across in the garden or field, with additional sections at the bottom to help you identify and learn more about specific species.
We will also be sharing information about our ongoing efforts to find new viable biological controls, and encouraging questions and discussion related to this fascinating field.
Because together We can be the solution!
Minute pirate bug
Although unable to identify the specific species, I am reasonably certain this little guy does belong to the Anthocoridae family
Predacious both as nymphs and adults, They are beneficial biological control agents. Orius insidiosus, the "insidious flower bug", for example, feeds on the eggs of the corn earworm and has been effectively used in greenhouses to control mites and thrips.
Zebra back spider
Like other jumping spiders, it does not build a web to hunt. Instead, it has the ability to move its head independently of its body allowing it to use its four pairs of large eyes to locate prey and orientate itself into the best position to pounce and capture its meal.
Zebra spiders are often noted for their awareness of humans. Upon noticing someone observing them, they will often stop what they are doing to look up at the human and change their behavior accordingly.
Zebra spiders tend to hunt smaller spiders and similar insects, but they have been observed taking on prey items up to 3 times the length of the spider, such as some of the smaller species of moth. This one has just caught a whitefly.
Red-backed jumping spider
Not to be confused with the unrelated and highly venomous redback spider (Latrodectus hasselti), the Red-backed jumping spider is one of the largest and most commonly encountered jumping spiders of western North America and is quite docile and harmless to humans and pets, but it will defend itself if threatened and its bite can be painful none the less. Johnsoni is also interesting in the surprising degree of colour difference between male and female. Males have a nearly completely red abdomen, while females have much more complicated patterning which includes reds, whites, blacks and yellows.
As with other jumpers, it is highly intelligent and aware of its surroundings with superb eyesight. A great generalist predator with a particular taste for other spiders!