Home garden/hobby growers

Here at Biological Services, we produce a range of products that can help control aphids, whiteflies and two spotted mites that are common in vegetables and ornamentals. These pests are best controlled in a home garden situation by using a mix of predators and parasites and will require multiple introductions for the best control. 

Biological control agents are a great option for home gardeners and hobby gardeners. In these situations, they often work even better than in commercial situations because most home gardens have a wide variety of plants, rather than a monoculture. This means there is usually alternative pollen and nectar sources available for predators and parasites in the absence of preferred prey. Home gardeners are more likely to be able to tolerate some damage to their plants than commercial growers before resorting to chemicals.

Using beneficials at home

When using biological control agents in home gardens, the same principles apply as in commercial crops:

No chemical residues

There must be no chemical residues on plants - plants should not have been sprayed with any chemicals within the past 4-6 weeks. For information on the side effects of chemicals on beneficials, check out the links to some informative side effects lists on our links page. If you need to hold the bugs for a day before distributing them in the garden, do not use fly spray anywhere in the house while the bugs are there and turn off any automatic pyrethrum spray units.

Low pest numbers

Pest numbers should be at a minimum when predators/parasites are first introduced. Some beneficials can be introduced preventatively before pests have been found - this is the best strategy if there is a very low tolerance to any signs of damage such as on some ornamentals and flowers. Preventative strategies allow the beneficials to develop reasonable population sizes before the pests arrive, and results in lower pest densities as a whole.

Not a quick fix

Beneficials are not immediate “fixes” for pest problems—control usually takes a few weeks to be achieved, and in most cases multiple releases are required, but the results are much longer lasting than chemical fixes which create pest and beneficial “vacuums” in a garden.

Distribute promptly

Beneficials must be distributed in a garden as soon as they are received. They are easily killed in hot weather if they are left in their containers and heat up. They are living organisms and need food, moisture and oxygen to survive.

Be proactive

When dealing with pest outbreaks, it is much easier to control pests when they are still confined to small areas. You need to be proactive when using biocontrol agents rather than reactive. Treating small hotspots is much easier and cheaper than having to treat the whole garden


As most home gardens/hobby gardens have a wide range of plants present at any one time, they usually have a wide range of pests present as well. For this reason, we provide some beneficials in combination with others so that a broader range of pests can be targeted by the application. Examples of this include parasitic wasps for aphid control - we supply a product called aphid parasite mix which has four different wasp species present which parasitise a wide range of aphid species. “Hypoaspis mix” is a mix of two species of predatory mite - Hypoaspis miles and Hypoaspis aculeifer. Both will feed on fungus gnats (sciarid flies) in the soil, but H. aculeifer will also help control bulb mites, while H. miles can also help control thrips pupae on the soil surface. By building populations of predators and parasites up in your garden before the pests take hold can help keep pest numbers down below damaging levels.

How to order

Biological Services concentrates on supplying commercial growers. However, if you are a home or hobby gardener you can still place an order. A minimum quantity applies. *Best results are achieved by releasing 2-3 times a few weeks apart starting at first signs of pest activity. The cost of each release can vary from $50-$100+ postage & packaging. Payment will need to be made via BPAY or Direct Deposit prior to dispatch.

You can order by completing our contact form and one of our friendly staff will be in contact.

If you are in WA and wish to order Predatory mites (5,000) you can order online from our distributor, Dawson’s Garden World


We produce 16 commercial biological control products for IPM programs. We also stock a range of traps and monitoring tools.

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Information on a range of key pests that can be controlled biologically in Australia using our products.

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We work in a range of crops and have developed biologically based IPM programs to control the major pests.

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