Defenders Giving Nature a Helping Hand Since 1993!
Following an award-winning Chelsea Flower Show exhibit in 1993, Defenders started supplying biological controls to amateur gardeners. We are now one of the leading suppliers of Biological Controls to the amateur market throughout the UK.
We are entomologists based in Wye near Ashford, Kent. Since 1970 we have researched and taught biological control methods to undergraduates and postgraduates at Wye College, University of London. During this period we supervised over 50 PhD studies in biological control. Many of our students came from overseas. As some students divided their study time between Wye and their home country, supervisory visits took place to many parts of the world. Our early work provided sufficient data to enable many species of non-indigenous biocontrol agents to be granted release licences for general use in the UK. This attracted the interest of botanical gardens and we started to supply our Mealybug and Scale Insect predators and parasitoids to many of them as well as most of the UK biocontrol distributors under the name of Wyebugs.
Following the merger of Wye College and Imperial College London in 2000, we transferred our MSc teaching to the Imperial Colllege Campus at Silwood Park in Berkshire. In 2012, the Imperial College entomologists moved to Harper Adams University in Shropshire where we now spend 5 weeks of each year teaching the MSc Commercial and Practical Biological Control, Ecological Entomology and parts of the Insect Diversity and Taxonomy modules.
Customer Service & Support
We have a vast experience and are happy to offer advice on all aspects of biological control. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reply as soon as possible.
PLEASE ORDER ONLINE BY MIDDAY THURSDAY FOR DESPATCH BY FIRST CLASS MAIL THE FOLLOWING TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY
For your security, card payments can only be made online and NOT by phone, post, email or in person.
Please note we only deliver to addresses with United Kingdom Postcodes
If you have used pesticides please contact us before ordering as beneficial insects will be killed by pesticide residues
Very little biocontrol is now produced in the UK so apart from our own specialist products, we source many of our supplies from Europe. All the biological controls have been put through rigorous quality control tests by the producers. This ensures that all of them are of the highest possible standard. We send them out as fresh as possible and ask you to release them as soon as they arrive.
Every time you make a purchase, product release instructions for each item will be included on the VAT receipt in the document wallet on the package. This includes separate storage temperatures for each product should you need to keep it overnight (not recommended)
Biological Control - Background Information
In the natural environment plant pests have natural enemies which help keep them in check. In the protected environment of a greenhouse, conservatory or some gardens, pests can breed very rapidly because their natural enemies are not present.
Many gardeners resort, often reluctantly, to chemical pesticides. A better option is to tip the balance in favour of the natural enemies - through introducing or boosting their numbers so that the pest population can be effectively reduced without chemicals.
This method is called "biological control" - simply using one organism to control another. A wide range of pests is now controlled this way under glass. Biological controls based on different species of parasitic Nematodes can be used outside to control soil pests such as slugs, leatherjackets, chafers, ants, vine weevil etc.
In glasshouses, conservatories and other protected environments many common pests can be controlled by a much wider range of beneficial predators and parasites as they will not fly away and be lost!
First developed over 75 years ago, biological control is widespread in the commercial production of salad crops. Pollination of the flowers is carried out by specially bred Bumble Bee colonies. This rules out the use of any pesticides so UK glasshouse grown tomatoes, cucumbers and sweet peppers are protected using a wide range of natural control agents.
Today an increasing number of proven products are available to gardeners. These controls can be parasites, which live on or within another organism, or predators that prey on others. All are natural species which have not been genetically engineered.
Times are changing. Currently, increasing numbers of insecticides are being withdrawn on the grounds of safety. Registration of new chemicals is increasingly complicated and expensive, and pests are becoming resistant to frequently applied pesticides. Biological control has proved itself to be an effective and environmentally safe alternative to chemicals, providing a long-term solution to controlling pests.