Over 30 years ago Arizona Biological Control, Inc. (ARBICO) was just an offbeat idea Rick Frey had to fill the summers of his teaching gig doing high school biology. Friends were in town for the weekend, showing off their latest discoverybugs that eat flies!! It took just moments and Rick was captivated; “I was already into the whole natural living thing; it made sense to spend my summers working to eliminate pesticides!” Rick travelled the country, wearing different hats (and shoes) depending on whether it was a feedlot, a racetrack, a dairy, or a mink farm he was visiting. The world was waking up to the possibilities of biological control and many of those facilities he visited that first summer are still with us today. In following summers, as Rick attempted to source the bugs to fulfill all the Fly Eliminator orders he was generating, he began to run into the trouble that became ARBICO’s ultimate opportunityFly Eliminators were in short supply. Not to be thwarted (and equipped with a background in wildlife biology), Rick decided he would grow the bugs himself and “The BugMan” was born. We’ve come a long way from those first days growing bugs in the back of a borrowed trailer, but for Rick, the core of what we do is still the same; “Just imagine how many tons of pesticides we have stopped from going into the environment over the years. Sometimes I try to calculate it, but how do you measure what hasn’t been used?”
For Sheri Herrera de Frey, her transition to the bug world was a little more sudden with Rick’s announcement that he was going to grow bugs: “You are going to do WHAT???” Nevertheless, she found herself inched forward as her background in international relations, gift for sales and marketing, passion for the environment and remarkable ability to figure things out for herself brought her toward the plain yet revolutionary idea that bad bugs don't like happy plants. Sheri rapidly advanced as a demanded speaker at biological control conferences and sustainable agriculture gatherings around the globe, promoting her philosophy of “bio-balance” as it applied first as a pest control solution and moreover as an element in the complex cropping systems organic and concerned growers have developed throughout the years.
During the peak of the summer, life is bustling on the 10 acre ARBICO facility, nestled on the backside of the Catalina mountain range about an hour north of Tucson, AZ. After 30 years, we continue to challenge ourselves to grow the best insects we can grow, and to deliver those insects and additional organic farm & garden supplies to our customers as promptly as we can, at affordable prices. If you have any questions about your particular pest situation, technical issues regarding products we sell, or need help ordering, please give us a call and a member of our knowledgeable staff will gladly assist you.
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