ARBICO (Arizona Biological Company) was founded in 1979 by a local Tucsonan – Rick Frey. He and his wife Sheri teamed up to form a company committed to a philosophy of “bio-balance” that focuses on organic growing and “offering customers sustainable pest control alternatives”.
In the beginning, the two embarked on raising and selling a “beneficial” insect (know as Fly Eliminators). This bug kills flies organically, but won’t bother you, plants, livestock, cattle, horses, or pets. In technical terms, an adult female parasitic wasp (about the size of a gnat) lays her eggs in a fly pupae. The Fly Eliminators eggs hatch inside the fly pupae and feed on it (as their food supply), thereby killing the fly in the process. The parasitic wasps that grows inside the flies pupae cocoon eventually emerge and start the cycle all over again and by doing so produce even more parasitic wasps to attack more fly pupae. Pretty ingenious eh? And no nasty chemicals. Nature at work doing what they instinctively know how to do.
This process of breeding a single beneficial insect – the good bug (that feeds on the bad bug) grew into a successful business of rearing other beneficial insects as well … on their 10 acre facility (Insectary) on the outskirts of Tucson proper in Oro Valley. At this Insectary, they also raise Assassin bugs that feed on aphids, leafhoppers, early developing caterpillars, flies, mites and a whole host of other pest insects (the bad guys that destroy your plants and trees). And ARBICO didn’t stop there, they now offer 20 different beneficial insects as biological controls.
As the business grew, ARBICO began to offer more “natural products for your organic garden, farm and livestock”. A comprehensive catalog is available, offering a huge selection of organic products:
- Attractants & Pollination Supplies
- Beneficial Insects & Mites
- Pest Insect Traps
- Beneficial Nematodes
- Caterpillar & Grasshopper Control
- Slug & Snail Control
- Biological Grub Control
- Organic Insecticides
- Manure & Odor Control
- Adult Fly Control
- Mosquito Control
- Soil Amendments
- Soil Enhancements
- Weed Control
- Disease Control
- Cleaning & Sanitation Supplies
- Flea & Tick Control
- Animal Control
- Crawling Insect Control
- Household Pest Control
- Bed Bug Control
- Tools and Supplies
If you’d like a free copy of their catalog, just give them a call: 800-827-2847. Also, don’t forget to explore their excellent website https://www.arbico-organics.com/. Here you’ll find even more products than are listed in the printed catalog. Things like greenhouses, row covers, frost protection, etc., etc., etc..
They also have a retail store in Oro Valley (see address and map in this listing). I visited it and was greeted by a very nice woman from the marketing department who gave me a plethora of information about the company and its products. The retail store itself is quite small. What I saw was a select few products targeted mostly to the home gardener. The vast majority of products are sold through their printed catalog or website. But just because it isn’t in the store doesn’t mean that its not available. They have a 10K square foot building as part of the corporate headquarters that stocks almost all of the products offered online/in the catalog. Other products that are not in the warehouse can be ordered and drop shipped to the store for pickup or can be delivered directly to you (contact ARBICO for delivery options and pricing).
And as a final note, they have on–staff experts who give FREE consultations in determining the problem you have and will, “offer solutions for immediate relief and prescribe a long term sustainable program for continued success”. They even have a woman known as “Doctor Buglady” who can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is an invaluable resource when it comes to; Pest ID; Plant Nutrition; Fly Control; Mite Control; etc.
If you believe in organic methods to grow, using biological vs. synthetic chemical controls, and want to feel good that you’re helping protect the environment, etc. – then ARBICO is definitely up your alley.