Growliv, which began in 2014 with a single bug, now may be the largest bug breeding farm in North America with annual sales of $3.5 million. As well as breeding bees for pollination, most of the 17 insect species are bred for biocontrol -- eating unwanted predator bugs. "It's a natural way to control pests without having to spray their crops with pesticides, this is like the first line of defence now," said Meshal Mustafa, whose entomologist parents founded the business in Amherstburg, Ontario. Essex-County biocontrol is a growing industry, says Roselyne Labbe, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Millions and millions of bugs are procreated, fed, harvested, shipped and dispersed across greenhouses in the region. "The government absolutely sees ecosystem resilience as a key priority. We need to have very sustainable systems for pest management," Labbe said.

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