Conservation Biological Control
With the advent of chemical pesticides, the contributions of beneficial insects (those that prey upon or parasitize crop pests) were largely forgotten. However, pesticides alone have not solved the problem of crop pests. “Conservation Biological Control,” is a strategy that seeks to integrate beneficial insects back into crop systems for natural pest control. This strategy is based upon ongoing research that now demonstrates a link between the conservation of natural habitat and reduced pest problems on farms.
In collaboration with the University of California Berkeley, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other partners, the Xerces Society is expanding efforts to demonstrate the effectiveness of conservation biological control through field research with academic partners, habitat restoration field trials, and outreach to farm communities and farm agency staff. Through this effort, we have developed Farming For Pest Management, a brochure that identifies common conservation biological control opportunities for farmers. Additional resources are in development and will be available soon. For other information and suggestions on implementing conservation biological control, please visit the links below.
- Attracting beneficial insects with native flowering plants. Michigan State University Extension.
- Beneficial insects and spiders in your Maine Backyard. University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
- Flower flies (Syrphidae) and other biological control agents for aphids in vegetable crops. University of California.
- Plants that attract beneficial insects. University of Florida Extension.
- Practical guidelines for establishing, maintaining and assessing the usefulness of insectary plantings in your farm. Oregon State University.
- Farmscaping for beneficials: a community based biological control program. Oregon State University.
- Flowering plants used in conservation biological control. Oregon State University.
- A pocket guide to common natural enemies to crop and garden pests in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon State University Extension.
- Plants that attract beneficial insects. USDA-NRCS.
- Habitat development for beneficial insects for pest management. USDA-NRCS.
Other Web Resources
- Farmscaping to Enhance Biological Control. ATTRA.
- Enhancing beneficial insects with native plants. Michigan State University.
- A Whole Farm Approach to Managing Pests. Sustainable Agriculture Network.
- Beneficial Insect Habitat in an Apple Orchard—Effects on Pests. University of Wisconsin.
- Habitat manipulation to enhance the effectiveness of aphidophagous hover flies (Diptera: Syrphidae). University of California.
- Use of cover crops and green manures to attract beneficial insects. University of Connecticut.