The New Jersey Department of Agriculture's 21,000 square-foot state-of-the-art beneficial insect rearing laboratory was constructed in 1985. Designed for biological pest control the facility allows state entomologists to develop insect rearing techniques and mass produce beneficial insects to be used to help reduce insect and weed populations below economic levels. Construction of this building has made it possible for the Department's Division of Plant Industry to simultaneously mass produce a variety of beneficial insect species for control of many different species of pest insects and weeds.
The laboratory's 11,000 square-foot center section features 30 environmentally controlled insect rearing rooms with the ability to regulate temperature, humidity and photo period to simulate any season or time of day. Most of the rooms are used for development and implementation of biological control programs. Diet preparation rooms are equipped to mix large volumes of artificial diets and food supplements on which insects thrive.
Insects currently raised in Phillip Alampi Beneficial Insect Rearing Laboratory include:
- Mexican bean beetle (MBB), Epilachna varievestis
- Mexican bean beetle larval parasite, Pediobius foveolatus
- Predators of purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria): Galerucella pusilla and Galerucella calmariensis
- San Jose scale, Quadraspidiotus perniciosus
- Euonymus scale predator, Cybocephalus nipponicus
- Hemlock woolly adelgid predators, Laricobius nigrinus (Derodontidae beetle)
- Tarnished plant bug (TPB), Lygus lineolaris
- Tarnished plant bug parasitoid, Peristenus relictus
- Mile-a-Minute predator, Rhinoncomimus latipe
Certain insects are available for purchase. A USDA permit is required for all interstate shipments. For more information contact: Mark Mayer at (609) 530-4192
The support services area includes a cage wash room, glassware wash room, shop for repair and maintenance of equipment, supply storage area, equipment garage, mechanical and electrical rooms, and offices for the clerical and professional staff.
Greenhouses have been constructed to propagate plants required for the production of host insects that are reared for the Department's biological control programs. The greenhouse space totals over 5,000 square feet and is equipped with high sodium lighting to resemble natural light and automatic controls to regulate temperature and air movement .
Adjacent to the laboratory is a one acre plot used to develop and field test pest control strategies and to maintain field insectaries to facilitate redistribution and establishment of beneficial insects.
For further information contact the Chief, Bureau of Biological Control, New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry, PO Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625-0330, (609-530-4192).