Quality Assurance

IOBC Quality Control guidelines

ANBP is currently moving toward new approaches for Quality Assurance standards. Past work on producing standards for use with commercially produced natural enemies are listed below.  In the meantime, we encourage the use of standards published by the International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC).  For a link to their Guidelines, and an explanation about how they were developed, go to:


Grower Guide:  Quality Assurance of Biocontrol Products

Growers and other end-users of commercial biocontrol products now have a website that explains how to simply evaulate the quality of their biocontrol shipment. Produced by Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Canada, this website was launched with the help of ANBP and University of Florida IPM. It will be updated with new species and can be edited if shipping techniques change. Check it out at: 


Will X-Ray Imaging of Benhttps://www.vinelandresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Grower-Guide.pdfeficials Impact Product Quality?

Check out the article within this CABI Newletter to explain X-Rays and how they impact mites and insects.  Scroll down to Biocontrol Agents Fly Through X-Ray Scans by Dr. Peter Follett, USDA-ARS, Pacific Basin, Hilo, Hawaii. 

Pesticide Side Effects on Beneficials

Many pesticides can affect the overall health and fecundity of natural enemies.  Even pesticides labeled as “soft” on biocontrol agents can have up to 50% mortality rates for the mite or insect after it encounters the chemical.  Guidelines for newer pesticide chemistries are difficult to come by because there simply is not enough research funded for this type of work.  Publications can be found in the literature, but determinging safe application rates and use in specific systems is still a challenge. 

One ANBP member company, Koppert, does have a webpage with a useful search engine for their species products.  Check out this site at: https://www.koppertus.com/side-effects-database/  and see how it provides help with using chemicals.  We will provide more information as we find it.

ASTM and ANBP’s past work on standards

ASTM International is a non-profit international organization with the purpose of “the development of standards on characteristics and performance of materials, products, systems and services;  and the promotion of related knowledge.”

Subcommittee E35.30 on Natural Multi-Cellular (Metazoan) Biological Control Organisms
The scope of  subcommittee E35.30 is the development of standard definitions, classifications, appropriate test methods, and recommended practices for quality, handling, distribution and use of natural multi-cellular biological control organisms.

Stakeholders working with natural enemies have joined ASTM Subcommittee E35.30 on Natural Multi-Cellular (Metazoan) Biological Control Organisms, and are active in creating, commenting on, and voting on standards for commercial natural enemy products. Currently standards have been adopted for 10 species. To date, quality standards have focused on methods of evaluating whether numbers received by the buyer meet the numbers that were claimed by the seller. Our latest work will add an evaluation of vigor to the quality specification.

Active standards under the jurisdiction of E35.30

Each standard must be reviewed and re-voted every five years. The number after the hyphen denotes the year last ratified. For example, the latest version of the P. persimilis standard was last voted in 2010. It will come up for review again in 2015 unless someone moves to revise it before that time. If you are interested in revising any standard or participating in its review, please contact the ASTME35.30 committee chair, Carol Glenister (carolg@ipmlabs.com).

E2198-10 Specification for Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot (Acarina:Phytoseiidae)

E2199-08e1 Standard Specification for Encarsia formosa Gahan (Hymenoptera:Aphelinidae)

E2360-04(2010) Specification for Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

E2615-08 Standard Specification for Aphidoletes aphidimyza (Rondani) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae)

E2643-09 Standard Terminology Relating to Natural Multi-Cellular Biological Control Organisms

E2644-08 Standard Specification for Podisus maculiventris (Say) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae)

E2645-08 Standard Specification for Feltiella acarisuga (Vallot) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae)

E2646-08 Standard Specification for Amblyseius cucumeris (=Neoseiulus) Oudemans (Acarina: Phytoseiidae)

E2753-10 Standard Specification for Eretmocerus eremicus Rose and Zolnerowich (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae)

E2754-10 Standard Specification for Delphastus catalinae (Horn) (Coleoptera:Coccinellidae)

Where can I buy beneficials?

Looking to buy beneficial insects, mites, or nematodes for biological control (biocontrol)? See a list of our current members and get links to their websites.

Member Directory