Moth Eggs (sterile) for Orius Nutrition on Pepper Banker Plants

Moth eggs (sterile) for Orius nutrition on pepper banker plants

Orius insidious (minute pirate bug) is a beneficial generalist predator that feeds upon adult and larval thrips.  Orius are expensive to purchase, so some growers use ornamental pepper banker plants to provide a pollen food source to help them get established in the greenhouse. Growers rear the minute pirate bugs on pollen producing pepper plants and place plants throughout the greenhouse to distribute them.  As long as the pepper plants are in flower and producing pollen, the minute pirate bugs will reproduce on them. The adults will fan out across the greenhouse and kill 1st and 2nd instar thrips larvae and adult thrips. Peppers need to be removed about once a month from the pepper plants to keep them flowering, in order for the process to work.

Moth eggs (Ephestia kuehniella on Nutricard) in this photo are also used on ornamental pepper banker plants as a food source for Orius. The Ephestia eggs are sterilized to prevent the development of larvae.