By Jennifer Hopwood, Eric Lee-Mäder, Lora Morandin, Mace Vaughan, Claire Kremen, Jessa Kay Cruz, Jim Eckberg, Sarah Foltz-Jordan, Kelly Gill, Thelma Heidel-Baker, and Sara Morris.
Beneficial insects are integral to healthy agricultural ecosystems and to our environment. Around the world, these wild insects prey upon and parasitize crop pests, recycle excess nutrients, aerate and improve soil quality, and support other wildlife in vast food chains.
This publication outlines the ecology of many native beneficial insect groups and highlights recommended strategies for conservation biological control—the practice of providing habitat for insects that attack crop pests. While native predator and parasitoid insects alone may not solve all of a producer’s pest problems, they can be an important part of an Integrated Pest Management system and contribute to reduced need for pesticides over time.