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Farming for Pest Management: Habitat for Beneficial Insects

Farming for Pest Management: Habitat for Beneficial Insects

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Published by Gustoff
Farming for Pest Management: Habitat for Beneficial Insects
Farming for Pest Management: Habitat for Beneficial Insects

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Gustoff on Oct 29, 2011
Copyright:Public Domain


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Requirements of Predators and Parasites
Many natural enemies of pests and weeds re-quire plant nutrients for growth, development, andreproduction. They may feed on pollen, nectar,seeds, sap, or plant parts, or consume the honey-dew produced by other insects. Many also may ben-efit greatly from feeding upon additional, non-pestprey on plants in and around the farm.
Many natural enemies
both vertebratesand invertebrates
require specific plant habitatsfor nesting or for over-wintering, and to provide theparticular conditions they need in the summer. If critical habitat requirements are missing at keystages in the life cycle of insects, birds, or bats, theywill not stay on your farm.
 Protection from pesticides and disturbance.
In-secticides may be toxic to predatory and parasiticspecies; herbicides may remove critical plant re-sources; and intensive cultivation may reduce pop-ulation densities of these beneficial organisms.
Principles of Farmscaping for Natural Enemies
 Determine which species are most likely to behelpful.
Find out which predators and parasites feedupon the pests that attack your crops, the time of year they are active, and the additional resources(food and shelter) that they need.
 Know and map farm habitats.
Identify fieldsand margins
and the times of year
where plantresources for these beneficial species are lacking.
 Manage your farm to attract and retain natu-ral enemies.
Use the illustration in this brochure asa guideto protect and enhance valuable habitat andto add appropriate plants and other features.
Getting Started
Here are two things you can do to improve the sit-uation for natural enemies of pests and weeds:
 Experiment with one tactic.
Establish an insectaryflower border or block, as illustrated in this bro-chure, in a readily accessible location. Observe thishabitat regularly to determine whether beneficialspecies are present when they would be most help-ful on your farm.
 Avoid a harmful practice.
Choose an alternativepesticide that is not toxic to beneficial species, orexperiment with reducing intensive cultivations inan area of your farm. Watch to see whether preda-tors and parasites are more active in these areas.
Going Further 
The practices listed in this brochure will generallyreduce pests. Many pest species, however, also havespecialized predators and parasites that are highlyefficient, but these may require specific practices toattract and retain them on your farm. Consult withbiological control experts such as university exten-sion workers or other growers to determine whatyou might do for these species.
What to Expect
Many predators and parasite species have limiteddispersal capacity and reproduction rates, and pop-ulations may therefore be slow to increase. Don’tbe surprised if it takes more than one growing sea-son for your habitat improvements to yield results.
 Habitat for Predators and Parasis
Many invertebrates, as well as bats and birds,feed upon crop pests and weeds. Providing foodand shelter for these useful animals can helpsuppress unwelcome pest species.This brochure illustrates how farmers can at-tract and retain helpful predators and parasitesby providing some of the key resources thatthey require. Many of these practices benefitpollinators and other wildlife as well, and areeligible for support by Farm Bill programs.Inside, you will find more information anda guide to help you manage your farmland fora wide variety of the natural enemies of croppests and weeds.
 Habitat for Beneficial Insects
 Published by the Xerces Society in association with the Integrated Plant  Protection Center. Financial support provided by 
d) funds. Text by Paul Jepson and Mace Vaughan. Illustrationsby Andrew Holder. Designed and produced by Press-
. Copyright ©
by the Xerces Society, an equal-opportunity employer.
 The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland,
 Producers who grow dill leaf, mustard greens,arugula, and Asian greens should consider let-ting them bloom after harvest. In many cases,it’s a moot point 
bloom just happens.
Elanor O’BrienPersephone FarmLebanon, Oregon
Striking a balance between beneficial organismsand pests is the key to biological pest manage-ment on our farm. We don’t want to kill off allthe bad bugs.We want just enough out there tofeed our good ones.
 John EvelandGathering Together FarmPhilomath, Oregon
More Information About Beneficial Species
The Integrated Plant Protection Center at OregonState University houses the state-wide IntegratedPest Management program. The Center also runsthe Farmscaping for Beneficials program, which un-dertakes participatory research and education pro-grams with farmers. More information about in-creasing habitat for natural enemies of pests andweeds can be found at http://ipmnet.org/.
’s Natural Resources Conservation Service(
) provides financial and technical assistanceto support conservation efforts for pollinators andother beneficial insects on farms. For informationon
conservation programs, contact your local
or conservation district office. The office near-est you can be located at www.nrcs.usda.gov.
Common natural enemies include hoverflies,lady beetles, parasitic wasps and flies, spiders,lacewings, predaceous mites, and pirate bugs.The Xerces Society is a non-profit organization thatprotects biological diversity through conservationof invertebrates. It works with farmers and scientistsacross the country to protect habitats that supportnative bees and natural enemies. More informationis available at www.xerces.org.

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