Gift Catalog


We have assembled a good selection of decorative items, discovery toys and tools for exploring nature. We work with biocontrol everyday and look for insect related items that have style, authenticity and creativity. Some are RVI exclusives. We think that you will enjoy them too. Call, fax or email to order.


Twenty five percent of the gross sales of gift catalog items is donated to the non-profit Dietrick Institute for Applied Insect Ecology, providing learning opportunities in ecological agriculture.


Books: The Practical Entomologist, Good Bugs for Your Garden, and Tiny Game Hunting

Insect Collecting & Mounting Kit

Bugdorm-2 Rearing Cage

World's Best Bug Viewer

Magnifying Lens

Discovery Scope Naturalist Kit

Beneficial Finger Puppets

Lacewing  Place Mats

Bug Pins, From Yipes!

Pesticide Free Zone Sign, Flag

Organic Garden Sign

Beneficial Insect Packages for Garden Pests

Insecta-Flora Beneficial insect habitat seed mix

Ordering Notes


The Practical Entomologist

Author : Rick Imes

Published by : A Fireside Book, 1992

ISBN 0-671-74695-2


age group 8-15

From exploring the basic principles of entomology to starting a collection, The Practical Entomologist is the perfect introduction to the world of insects. For beginners who wish to be serious hobbyists, Fireside's "Practical" series can also help high school and college students understand basic tenets of entomology.


Beginning with the basics, the text describes what characterizes an insect, including anatomy and the life cycle. It takes an order-by-order look at insects, explaining how each group differs from another and why certain types of insects have been classified together. The book shows you not only what to look for but how and where to look for it - from capturing and keeping live insects to ways of making a collection and taking photographs. The book describes proper fieldwork procedures, explains how to employ collecting tools and techniques. Tips on keeping a field notebook are also included. Practical Entomologist lists organizations and biological supply companies that sell collecting gear and insects for study. Packed with more than 200 full-color illustrations, this comprehensive guide is a valuable reference tool for nature enthusiasts.



Good Bugs for Your Garden

by Allison Mia Starcher

Media: Hardcover Book

Publisher: Algonquin Books

Release Date: May, 1995

Price: $11.00

Age group 6 through adult

This is a beautiful introductory book on beneficial bugs! It's warm, enthusiastic & friendly, & it doesn't get bogged down trying to show you every little variety of bugs out there.


Author Allison takes you on a tour through her backyard and her father's garden. It's amazing once you start looking at bugs and watching their behavior. The bugs she covers range from prominent garden bugs, such as ladybugs & bumble bees, to almost undetectable critters, like the Aphidius wasp. Allison includes personal comments about the bug (why she likes it, curious behaviors, where she usually finds it, which grubs to spare and which to do in). Charming sketches are combined with helpful information for creating habitat to attract and maintain a native population for your yard.


About the Author

Allison Mia Starcher is a professional illustrator specializing in plants and insects. Her work appears regularly in the Southern California Gardener and she drew the cover for the RVI catalog. She lives in the Los Angeles area.

Tiny Game Hunting Environmentally Healthy Ways to Trap and Kill the Pests in Your House and Garden, New Edition

Hilary Dole Klein and Adrian M. Wenner

Illustrations by Courtlandt Johnson

Publication Date: June 2001

Subjects: Environmental Studies; Biology; Entomology; Gardening

278 pages, 6 x 9 inches, 80 line illustrations

Paperback $14.95

Age group 10+


"Tiny Game Hunting is the delightful name of a useful book that tells how to get ants to move by pouring a blended solution of lemon peel on their nest, how to repel gophers with Juicy Fruit gum, and how to confuse thrips with aluminum strips. There is some very good natural history on each pest--so you can better understand what makes them tick--and it is told with a fine sense of humor. There are dozens of pests described and hundreds of clever cures in this book."--Los Angeles Times

"This book advocates the rational use of alternative home remedies, rather than commercial long-lived biocidal death sprays... The authors present commonsense, forgotten, and little-known tactics for dealing with troublesome pests in and around the home."--Backyard Bugwatching

"This commonsensical, well-organized book details more than 200 non-chemical methods for dealing with insect pests. Combining useful illustrations, natural history and advice, Tiny Game Hunting offers hundreds of environmentally friendly, often little-known ways to rid yourself of house and garden pests, including how to get rid of ants with lemon-peel solution and repel gophers with chewing gum."--Toronto Globe & Mail

Every year Americans use a staggering five hundred million pounds of toxic pesticides in and around their homes, schools, parks, and roads--a growing health risk for people and the environment. But are these poisons really necessary? Tiny Game Hunting, written in a lively and entertaining style and illustrated with detailed drawings, appealing to the hunter in us all, shows how to triumph in combat with pests without toxic chemicals.


About the Author

Hilary Dole Klein is a writer living in Santa Barbara and the author of A Guide to Nonsexist Children's Books (1976) and Substituting Ingredients (third edition, 1994), among other books. Adrian M. Wenner is Professor Emeritus of Natural History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the author of books, articles, and a chapter in Comparative Psychology of Invertebrates: The Field and Laboratory Study of Insect Behavior (1997).


Student Insect Collecting & Mounting Kit

Complete instructional unit for secondary level students or beginning collectors. Kit contains all the fundamental equipment needed to collect, prepare and maintain specimens of most orders of insects.

Age group 10-15

Collecting & mounting kit COLLECTK each $55.00


  • Collecting net, 12" diameter, aerial bag, 18" hardwood handle

  • 2 collecting jars, 4 oz., with plaster poured bottoms

  • Insect killing fluid, ethyl acetate, in 8 dram vial, for collecting jars

  • 50 glassine envelopes, 2-3/4 x 4-1/4" (70 x 108 mm)

  • Folding magnifier, 4X, with plastic case

  • Forceps, spade tip, stainless steel

  • Spreading board, 12" (305 mm), soft plastic pinning surfaces, varied center groove

  • Insect pins, size 2, pack of 100

  • Pinning block, hardwood, three-step style

  • 100 blank labels, black borders, 7/8 x 1/2"

  • Label pen, permanent ink, fine line, .3 mm

  • Fiberboard insect box, polyethylene foam pinning bottom, 9 x 13 x 2-1/2" (23 x 33 x 6.4 cm)

  • Fumigant strip

  • Illustrated instruction booklet, 32 pages

Great cage to watch insects, grow them, or perform experiments

BugDorm-2 Rearing Cage

BugDorm-2's tent-like design facilitates easy assembly, transport, and storage. The 24 x 24 x 24" (60 x 60 x 60 cm) cage is self-supported by solid fiberglass poles. Front, rear, and bottom panels are clear vinyl, allowing optimum observation of insects. The two side panels are fine 104 x 26 mesh/inch white polyester netting, and provide ventilation. The front panel has two access points. A large crescent-shaped zippered panel, 21" (53 cm) across the bottom x 16" (40 cm) high, allows the user to place a host plant or other material into the cage. The smaller access sleeve located in the middle of the front panel is 8" (18 cm) diameter x 15" (38) cm long. This permits specimens, food, or water to be inserted or removed with lowered risk of escape.

Price each BugDorm-2 rearing cage, BUGDORM $58.00

World's Best Bug Viewer - container with magnifying top to watch bugs. Use the 2X magnifying top or flip over the 2X lens to get 4X magnification,

World's Best Bug Viewer (2X+2X) BV1 each $6.75, 5+ $5.75

Magnifying lens - for getting up close and personal with small creatures 10X lens. All of our entomologist friends carry one of these on a ribbon around their necks when out in the field. When they find a bug, they just pick up the lens and get a closer look. For the well dressed biological explorer

ML100 each 12.80



Hand held microscope,

one mini-clamp,

one multi-use chamber holder,

two 1" x 2" clear view chambers, and

one water dropper

packaged in custom bag with shoulder strap & belt loop.

Discovery Scope Kit SCOPEK Price: $45.00 each

Age group 6+


Discovery Scope for young people of all ages. Children of about age 6 or 7 and up usually need about 2-5 minutes of instruction to master the use of Discovery Scope. It's a great educational tool for children because they can share their discoveries with other children or adults. Discovery Scope encourages children to explore and enjoy nature. You can focus on a specimen with Discovery Scope and then pass the 'Scope' around so that everyone can see. It's great for opening the minds of others about the world of the small.


Discovery Scope is so convenient and compact, it can be used anywhere you go. With no metal parts, it will never corrode. It's small enough to fit in a loose pocket or a small nylon bag, ideal for backpacking, park exploring, kayaking and all outdoor activities. The subject is held in place in front of the lens by a unique holding system. Once the subject is in focus, it's fixed in place; until it moves or you move it. The secret to great micro/macro viewing is good lighting. With Discovery Scope you can move the entire imaging system and the specimen into any light condition you want. You can easily get light to bounce off the front or side of the subject, or you can shine light directly through the subject to see details right inside. See activities for teachers at


Folkmanis beneficial finger puppets

BAT This little bat puppet spreads skin-thin wings, ready to take to the sky on the tip of your finger. With silk-screened detailing and beady black eyes, this aerial rodent will make a fine specimen to add to your finger puppet collection. Bats help by eating many mosquitoes and fruit eating moths.


Pollinating and honey making keep this bee busy. Hold the bright pink blossom in your palm while one finger pokes up through the middle to animate the bee.

BUTTERFLY Gossamer wings flutter gracefully on the tip of your finger with the Butterfly finger puppet. Colorfully decorative blue and purple tones capture the mood of whimsy the butterfly conveys. Stretchy nylon body will fit fingers of many sizes.

MONARCH BUTTERFLY The sheer wings of this finger puppet, silk screened with the realistic orange and black markings of the Monarch Butterfly, flutter gracefully up and down with the motion of your hand. Its stretchy nylon fabric body fits fingers of many sizes.

DRAGONFLY With this glittering blue-tailed Dragonfly finger puppet hovering on the tip of your finger, you'll be the hero of the season, chasing mosquitoes and other summer pests. Stretchy fabric fits fingers of many sizes.

LADYBUG This friendly and cheerful garden symbiont is a favorite among children, both for her part in nursery rhymes and her bright, colorful shell. As a finger puppet, the Ladybug makes a great gift for gardeners of all ages. Ladybugs eat aphids and other soft bodied pests in the garden.

OWL A beautiful spotted Owl in miniature? What a hoot! As a puppet, he perches on your finger, ready to dispense owlish wisdom. Whooo could be cuter? Owls eat many rodents, like gophers, helping to keep these pests in check.

PRAYING MANTIS As oversized insects go, this one definitely uses her power for good, not evil. Devout, humble and helpful, she'll crusade against garden pests with righteous wrath and ne'er harm a hair on your head. This Praying Mantis puppet comes to life when you wear her on your finger. She eats many pests in the garden.










monarch butterfly












praying mantis



Set of 8, one each



(now you don't have to choose) save $3.70

Lacewing Table Place Mats laminated print of hand painted original on canvas by Alice Williams, an RVI exclusive. Graceful delicate lacewing on a leaf in gold, green, and fuchsia with a bronze border. Lacewing - effective biocontrol agent and delightful table accent. Easy care, just wipe off, laminated finish resists stains.

Lacewing Design Place Mats, PLACEMATS 11 X 17 inch, set of 4. $48, additional PLACEMAT $9.00 each (after buying set).


Dressy Bug Pins

lacewing pic 

coming soon...

From Yipes! Created by Joyce Fritz, these brightly colored insects are individually crafted from polymer clay, wire and beads. Colors may vary, but all are beautiful. The lacewing was a special request from RVI.
Lacewing pin PINLW $30.00
Ladybug pin PINLB $30.00
Ladybug earrings EARLB $32.00
Scarab pin PINSCAR $40.00
Dragonfly pin PINDRAG $48.00

Welcome to the Pesticide Free Zone!

Yard Sign, 8 inch metal circle, designed by Joe Draeghert for a public awareness campaign of Marin Beyond Pesticides Coalition, seeking to change the way people view and use pesticides: Identify your home landscape as free from toxic pesticides. This location welcomes butterflies, birds, babies & bare feet!

SIGNFREE price $12.50 each

Have you been wishing for a way to identify your home landscape as free from toxic pesticides? Well, we've got good news. Welcome to the Pesticide Free Zone, a project to mark unsprayed landscapes with attractive signs. Originating in Marin County, California, we're hoping to get thousands of these signs out there in neighborhoods to show that we are gardening naturally. Awareness about pesticide toxicity has increased in recent years, with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announcing phaseouts of the two most popular consumer lawn insecticides [diazanon and chlorphrifos (DursbanTM)] because of health and environmental concerns. We've become accustomed to seeing flags warning of sprayed lawns, but the Pesticide Free Zone sign proclaims that it's safe to walk on the grass here, safe to smell the flowers. Many people don't use pesticides, but they are largely silent. Now you can identify your yard, in a positive supportive way, as non-toxic and begin educating your community.


Pesticide Free Zone flag to brighten up the porch, rooms, displays, festivals. 28 x 42 inch nylon, FLAGFREE $40 each

Another festive way to raise awareness of biological rather than toxic options for pest control. Produced by Pesticide Awareness & Alternative Coalition (PAAC), in Santa Barbara to raise funds for their educational activities. Your purchase does double duty to help PAAC and the Dietrick Institute.


Organic Garden Sign, Please Do Not Spray. Let local spray crews know that you would like them to spray elsewhere. From Catnip Farm

Black wording on bright yellow background, 12 x12 inch, Heavy gauge aluminum, 1 per entrance, SIGNOG, each $20.00


also available Organic Farm sign



You know your friend has a garden and has whiteflies, here is gift for that friend. A package or kit of beneficial insects and products to control a specific pest. Sent at appropriate time for zone and pest development.


Item Code




1,500 lacewing eggs on 10 tabs

general predator


Aphidoletes aphidimyza predatory midge, 250 pupae/tray



Insect food - 6 oz jar

attract beneficials


Tanglefoot - 6 oz tube

keep ants away from LW & AA


Item Code




1,500 lacewing eggs on 10 hangable tabs

general predator


1,000 Encarsia, 100/card, 10 cards in strip

greenhouse whitefly parasite


yellow sticky cards-10

monitor and trap whitefly


Orange oil - 4 oz bottle

mix for natural contact spray

add 2nd LW1+EN1

ship LW1+EN1 in 2 wks

maintain pressure over time


Item Code




Boric acid, 4 oz bottle



Plastic containers for putting out boric acid sugar bait



Tanglefoot - 6 oz tube

exclude ants from beneficials


Orange oil - 4 oz bottle

mix for natural contact spray


Recipes for safe, organic ant bait and ant spray



Item Code




1,500 lacewing eggs on 10 hangable tabs

general predator


6,000 Hypoaspis miles predatory mites in bran carrier



yellow sticky cards-10

monitor and trap thrips

AC1 X 2

2 bags 1,000 A. cucumeris predatory mites in bran carrier


For Whitefly   PACKWF      $40 with second shipment of LW, EN PACKWF2 $54

For Aphid      PACKA          $40

For Ant           PACKANT     $40

For Thrips      PACKT          $40


Insecta-Flora Beneficial insect habitat seed mix

The primary use is providing habitat for beneficial insects to aid biological control of pests. Insecta-Flora is a wildflower mix with flowers that bloom at different times through the year. It creates a natural insectary that attracts and supports the beneficials and provides an alternate target for crop destroyers, drawing them into an insect ambush. Some have open flower structures that permit large and small insects to get nectar. Some have lots of pollen. Some will tolerate shade, some will take mowing, and all attract insects. Developed by Paul Albright of Albright Seed Company, Paul put an emphasis on what is attractive to insects and beautiful to humans. Many other flowers could have been added, in fact, you can add your favorite wildflowers when you plant the mix. Secondary uses for Insecta-Flora include cut flowers, herbs, soil building, erosion control, and screening. This mix also provides habitat for birds, amphibians, reptiles, and soil microbes.



Prepare a seed bed by scratching the surface to get aggregate particle size of to 1 inch range. Drill in the seed or broadcast and lightly cover the seed. Note the planting density. If you plant the mix more densely, the faster growing plants will overwhelm the slower growing plants, and the resulting diversity will be lower. Plant 11 pounds per acre, 1 pound per 4,000 square feet, 1 ounce per 250 square feet, 1 gram per 9 square feet. Fall planting is best in a Mediterranean climate, giving plants time to establish in the rainy season. If planted in the spring, water to get established. In dryer areas Insecta-Flora may need watering several times during the summer.

Comes in three mixes

Standard FLORA3

Low, about 1 foot tall FLLO3

Tall, about 3 foot tall FLHI3

3 g packet, plants 25 ft2, $3.80

also available by the pound in our Catalog of Beneficials


Ordering Notes Minimum Order $25. See other notes at ordering.

To order, call, fax or e-mail your order to our friendly customer service staff.

800-248-2847   fax 805-643-6267

find a pdf Gift Catalog at Catalog.


Twenty five percent of the gross sales of gift catalog items is donated to the non-profit Dietrick Institute for Applied Insect Ecology.


Providing learning opportunities in ecological agriculture.


Back to Top