If you have a question about raising beneficial insects, you just might find the answer here.


This material is based on that found in H L Saffell's book: "Beneficial Insects - How to Mass-Rear and Make a Profit". If you would like a copy for your own, CLICK HERE.

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  • Q. Are beneficial insects something new in agriculture?
  • A. Not really. Even in ancient times, mankind relied upon the help of beneficial insects. It's only today with the heavy application of insecticides that the use of beneficial insects as been misunderstood.

  • Q. If insecticides are available, why worry about using beneficial insects?
  • A. Because insecticides are losing their effectiveness. Insect pests are gaining immunity to even the strongest insecticide.

  • Q. But what about the cost? Aren't beneficial insects expensive?
  • A. When regularly applied in the right manner over a period of time, beneficial insects are lower in cost than insecticides, and without the side effects of insecticides.

  • Q. I've heard that beneficial insects are difficult to raise.
  • A. The difficulty comes not with the actual rearing process but in getting adequate information about that process.

  • Q. Why is that? Why isn't there more information on the rearing process?
  • A. Up to this time the rearing of beneficial insects has been left in the hands of the professionals, the entomologists. And if you go into the business, as soon as possible you too will hire an entomologist, which is really a necessity for good rearing practices.

  • Q. That still doesn't answer my question.
  • A. If you 're a grower you're not going to give out rearing secrets which have taken you some time to cultivate. Why would you want to give aid and comfort to new competition? Mainly, the reason for the lack of rearing information is just the way things are. Aside from a few papers here and there, most of the information is tied up in the files of growers throughout the country.

  • Q. What are the possibilities for making good money raising beneficial insects?
  • A. Like all career choices, you should pick one which you enjoy. If you apply yourself and keep on learning, you can be a success in any field. The money is secondary, but it does come with the territory.

  • Q. What is the best way to start out? What should I concentrate on?
  • A. The secret is to start out with one insect, learn what you can about its biology. Then raise and market it to the hilt. After that small success, you can branch out with other insects. Always keep in mind: what you have to do to learn this business is exactly what you'd have to do to learn any business.

  • Q. What does the future hold for those who rear beneficial insects?
  • A. The future looks good indeed. The way things are going with modern day agricultural practices, the only thing we'll have left to combat insect pests are their predators, the beneficial insects which we alone raise.

  • Q. Isn't raising (or rearing) beneficial insects a messy job?
  • A. No way. In fact you'd better keep a very clean operation if you want to succeed in raising beneficial insects. Like humans they too can catch disease from their surroundings. So in order to succeed you must make certain the rearing area is as clean as it can possibly be. Later on, if you go commercial in a big way, your operation will be as sterile as a hospital operating room.


bsaffell@mayhillpress.com...Last Update: 112109, copyright 1996 - 2009 by Hilmur Saffell

They are as follows:
"How to Start on a Shoestring and Make a Profit with Hydroponics"
"Big Dollars Growing Gourmet Salad Greens"
"Beneficial Insects - How to Mass Rear and Make a Profit"
If you would like a copy or copies of your own,