A group of 4-H students released 1,300 Asian lady beetles (Harmonia axyridis) into a Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership (GGP) greenhouse in Pagosa Springs, Colo., as part of its Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.
The GGP is a nonprofit organization that aims to educate the community about sustainable agricultural practices. The greenhouse, which the organization calls the Education Dome, was constructed in fall 2016.
The organization’s IPM program is based on prevention, monitoring, control and the use of biological and nontoxic material, hence the lady beetle release, which is being used to manage aphids.
The program also focuses on the control of pests, not elimination. The GGP says the purpose of the release of the lady beetle was to teach the students that this biological method is intended to manage, not eliminate, the aphid population. The 4-H is a youth development program of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System and U.S. Department of Agriculture.