What did you buy? Did you purchase them from somewhere local to you (chain store, garden center, etc.)? Or did you order online? If online, from where, and were you pleased with what you received?
Heh. I've been trying to think of how to phrase my reply....
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ YES, I've purchased beneficial insects before.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢Ã‚Â I've tried most of them, starting with Fly Predator Flies, Beneficial Nematodes, Ladybugs, Greenlacewings, Trichogramma wasps.... Only one I didn't bother to buy was Praying Mantis -- they were already here.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Most of the purchases were made in the days before on-line purchase -- but the idea is the same. I got them from mail-order catalogs. I can't remember where the Fly Predators came from because I don't think they offer that now, but most were purchased from Gardens Alive.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ If you mean did they work, it's not always quantifiable.
- Flies: The summer before, there were always flies buzzing near the doors and a few got in every time they were opened. In winter, they were EVERYWHERE near the windows. I spread the predators (comes as pupae) all around the house in recommendate areas -- damp moist soil, and the number of pesky houseflies diminished over the summer and were not such an issue the following winter or since.
- Nematodes: Comes as a piece of synthetic sponge that you're supposed to soak and squeeze out the milky liquid into a watering can and sprinkle. The target was Japanese beetles. I think I also used Milky Spore at the same time AND convinced DH to stop putting out the lure/traps. Definitely less Japanese Beetles afterwards.
- Ladybugs: (live adults) I've done them a couple of times in the past. Like mom2cassie said, kids like to release them.
They don't all go flying away if you overhead water/sprinkler your garden first and release them after sundown (or release them on rainy day). Put them at the BASE of the plants you know are having aphid infestations. Put them at the base of non-crop plants with aphid infestations AS WELL. Did they stay? I've no idea*
- Green Lacewings: (eggs - I can't remember if they were loose eggs or how I distributed them) ditto*
- Trichogramma wasps: Comes as pupal mass in a cup. Wait for them to emerge, then release the adults in to the garden near flowers.
* The Catch-22 is that if you have to buy them, you probably don't have the kind of garden that attracts them (and entice them to stay) As soil said, [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=335]planting the kind of plants that attracts beneficial insects[/url] is important. Refraining from using pesticides and herbicides that kill the beneficial
insects as well as the pests is important.
I haven't PURCHASED beneficial insects in ages. I reported that I had 14 praying mantis egg cases (ooths) throughout my garden this spring that released hundreds of baby Praying Mantises. My plums trees get covered with aphids then covered with ladybugs to the point that their pupae are so numerous (even on blades of grass) we have to tip-toe around the plum trees.
Birds are everywhere hunting and catching and eating bugs (good and bad). Almost every day, I notice a movement from the corner of my eye and it's a baby Praying Mantis -- climbing in the apple tree, walking over the mulch, hanging in the raspberries.... Most of the time, when I see an infestation starting of anything, I also see a Garden Patrol, already on the job.