“The fewer beneficial insects that I’m selling, the better job I’m doing since it means that the client’s system is working well,” says Jennifer Blom, a specialist in biological control of insect pests at Global Horticultural. Global Horticultural Inc. is a family-run business established in 1988 in Beamsville, Ontario and having since added Carpintria (California), Lyndonville (New York) and Leamington (Ontario). Global Horticultural offers solutions for integrated pest management in addition to a wide range of greenhouse equipment, growing medium, fertilizers, on-site manufacturing and solutions for integrated pest management.
While Global Horticultural sells a wide range of products, the company prides itself on the technical support and consulting provided to its clients to ensure their long-term success. When growers purchase from Global Horticultural, the company assigns a consultant to follow the grower’s progress through frequent visits and goals. “The goal is to build a pest management program that costs the least for the growers but is the most effective,” says Jennifer. The key to the company’s stellar customer service is its team of seven consultants and an entomologist, providing clients with a wealth of knowledge and experience in integrated pest management.
Part of the Global Horticultural Inc. team at the Cultivate tradeshow of 2019.
For Foothill Greenhouses Ltd. in King, Ontario, “Global Horticultural has been the supplier of choice for beneficial insects and greenhouse supplies for decades. Their excellent customer service and extensive knowledge of pest management in greenhouses has played a crucial role in the overall development and success of our IPM program.”
Similarly, Global Horticultural works with George Sant & Sons Greenhouses, who provide only glowing reviews. “Global Horticultural have always been great to work with. They have always been a reliable and fast source of information in our pest management program. My experience with Global has made me love working with them. It’s heartwarming to know that in a situation, such as the pandemic, they do everything they can to ensure success with our IPM program. They went above and beyond my expectations. I really appreciate working with the wonderful people from Global.”
By opting for an integrated pest management plan. rather than purely relying on pesticides, growers are able to reduce their chemical use thus reduce risk to workers while also increasing the efficacy of chemicals when they are used. Using chemicals less frequently typically slows the development of chemical resistance, making them more effective when they are actually used.
Banker plants to manage pest insects
Among the various advancements in integrated pest management is the use of banker plants to proactively manage pest insects. In a banker plant system, a banker plant is grown near the crop and provides a habitat for the beneficial insect as well as a non-harmful insect as a food source. This allows the grower to maintain a population of beneficial insects in proximity to the crop which, if infested by insects, can act quickly to curb the infestation. Banker plants thus enable a response to insect infestations at a speed previously reserved for chemical pesticides. Banker plants have been successfully used to control aphid population by introducing a non-harmful aphid species and a biological control agent to a grass, with the control agent’s population becoming established by feeding on the non-harmful aphid.