Practical uses of trichogrammatid egg parasites occur world-wide against many lepidopterous pests on several key crops. Although several million hectares are treated annually, most of these remain at research and plantation scale, and there are relatively few commercial insectaries producing these organisms as crop protection agents. With few exceptions, trichogrammatids are produced by small, specialized industries with low technology and high labour inputs.
Increases in the commercial uses of these naturally occurring ovicides, particularly in intensive agricultural systems with high per-capita output, have been limited by problems in the scale and economy of production, together with variability in control effect. To become more widely acceptable as plant protection products, trichogrammatids should compete with established methods in cost, availability, efficacy and reliability.
Using a specific example from the forest resources of Canada, this paper focuses on an industrial approach to developing a Trichogrammma sp. as a viable component for insect pest management. In particular, it addresses the problems of production economy and scale, quality control, storage, and application technology.