Biological Services commenced commercial operations in 1971, in South Australia, to breed Aphytis melinus for control of red scale in citrus, in the southern districts of Australia. Whilst Aphytis is still widely used and remains a key product for the citrus industry, the product range has since been diversified to control key pests in a wide range of both protected and outdoor horticultural crops.
In July 2014, Biological Services joined forces with Manchil IPM Services in Western Australia and can now offer an even more extensive range of biocontrol organisms. Manchil IPM Services was set up in 2002 focusing initially on rearing Phytoseiulus persimilis for control of two spotted mite control in the Western Australian strawberry industry, but since then have also increased their range of organisms, especially targeting western flower thrips. More recently both businesses have been jointly developing programs for horticultural growers Australia wide. With both companies product ranges combined, Biological Services can now offer 16 different biocontrol agents for pests such as whiteflies, thrips, mites, aphids, fungus gnats, red scale and cabbage moth.
Rearing of all biological agents occurs on site in either Muchea or Loxton, with both sites also having large trial areas for research, and testing the side effects of newly released chemicals on various beneficials. Biological Services has 7 fully trained, full time IPM consultants available for information, monitoring, advice and property visits around the country to ensure pest issues are dealt with quickly and professionally.
James Altmann and Lachlan Chilman