DALOTIAforce (Dalotia coriaria) are soil-dwelling predatory rove beetles used to prevent and control fungus gnats, shore flies, various thrips species (pupae), and other soil pests. Their impact on thrips in an IPM program is very underrated. Breaking the pupal stage of the thrips life cycle is critical for optimal control.
Adults are black, slender, between 3-4 mm long, and resemble tiny earwigs more than beetles. Their elytra (leathery hind wings) are truncated, meaning they stop around a quarter of the way down their body, which is a characteristic that all rove beetles share.
The adult beetles are very mobile. They will crawl or fly from pot to pot, and from one area of the greenhouse to another, eating pests all along the way. This makes them effective even in hydroponic or other types of greenhouses with no soil. For these situations, breeding boxes are highly recommended since broadcasting them on rockwool is relatively ineffective at establishing populations. Even in traditional greenhouses with soil, the breeding boxes can be a great supplement to (but not replacement for) broadcasting on the soil, especially if the facility has dirt or gravel floors.
Females lay around 90 eggs, of which about 70 make it to adulthood. At around 78°F, eggs take just over two days to hatch. Larvae live around seven days before pupating, and pupation takes just under eight days. The entire cycle from egg to adult takes ~17 days. Adult females live approximately 48 days, whereas males around 60. Since they spend more of their time in the soil, ambient air temperatures are less important for them compared to other biological control agents. They can survive the winter by going deeper into the soil, even in areas where temperatures fall well below freezing.
DALOTIAforce ships in bottles, tubes, bags, or tubs that are filled with loose peat moss/vermiculite, which allows them to be distributed easily into the crop. Depending on the pest pressure, use 0.2 beetles per square foot in the potting media. If the crop is transplanted, apply again but at only half the original rate. For long-term crops, re-apply every six to eight weeks. They are best used in combination with STRATIOforce.