Frank A. Hale, Professor
Darrell Hensley, Assistant Extension Specialist
Entomology and Plant Pathology
The Agricultural Extension Service receives
numerous inquiries for information about
where insect predators and parasitoids can be
purchased. These insects are intended for use by
both homeowners and commercial growers as
biological control agents.
Biological control uses benefi cial organisms
rather than insecticides to reduce insect
populations. Almost all insect groups include
some benefi cial members. The use of benefi cial
organisms is particularly important where
chemical residues are undesirable. Benefi cial
organisms can be predators, such as ladybugs,
lacewings and praying mantids that feed on
other insects. Others, such as some species of
nematodes and wasps, including Trichogramma,
are parasitoids with an immature stage that
lives on or inside a host, which the parasitoid
eventually kills. Trichogramma wasps lay their
eggs into the eggs of caterpillars, where they
develop by feeding inside the host’s egg. An
example of a benefi cial pathogen is Bacillus
thuringiensis, which is used as a microbial
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture
does not list the decollate snail, Rumina decollata,
as a biological control organism suitable to be
brought into Tennessee.
The Agricultural Extension Service is
not in the business of advertising, selling
or buying benefi cial organisms. This list of
sources was compiled as a response to public
requests for information. This listing and
general description of benefi cial organisms
are not recommendations and do not imply
effectiveness in controlling any pest.
Commercially Available Biological Control Agents
1 Aphidoletes aphidimyza: A predatory midge that feeds on aphids.
2 Anisopteromalus calandre: A wasp that is a parasitoid of weevil larvae in stored grain.
3 Aphelinus abdominalis: A parasitoid wasp of aphids.
4 Predatory ladybird beetles.
5 Bracon hebetor: A wasp that is a parasitoid of lepidopteran pest