Beneficial Insect Fact Sheets

    Aphid Natural Enemies and Biological Control

    Aphid natural enemies

    Aphids are prey to many predatory insects, spiders, and parasitoids. Healthy predatory populations keep aphid populations low, which can reduce or eliminate the need for chemical controls.
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    Beneficial and Pest Insects of Utah Alfalfa

    alfalfa

    Beneficial, or predatory, insects play an important role in suppressing pests in alfalfa. This publication is an introductory guide to the most abundant arthropods (insects and spiders) found in Utah alfalfa.
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    Beneficial Insects: Beetles

    Aphid natural enemies

    Many beetles are beneficial insects, either predatory on other insects or eating plants considered weeds. For certain widespread insect and weed problems, beetles are intentionally released to biological control.
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    Beneficial Insects: Mantids

    beneficial insects: mantids

    Mantids are predatory insects common in gardens and flower beds. Buying mantid egg cases can provide some pest control, but often nymphs and adults are cannibalistic and indiscriminate carnivores.
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    Beneficial Insects: True Bugs

    beneficial insects: true bugs

    True bugs are fluid feeding insects that suck out juices from plants and animals. Nymphs and adults feed on the same prey, especially soft-bodied insects like aphids and caterpillars.
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    Beneficial Insects: Lacewings and Antlions

    beneficial insects: lacewings and antlions

    Lacewings and antlions are considered beneficial because the larvae eat a wide variety of soft-bodied insects. Adult lacewings feed on nectare, pollen, and aphid honeydew. Brown lacewing and antlion adults are also predatory on other insects.
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    Beneficial Predators: Predatory Mites

    predatory mites

    Predatory mites feed on all life stages of many small anthropods and target pest spider mites. Most predatory mite species do best in humid conditions and controlled environments such as greenhouses and high tunnels.
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    Beneficial True Bugs: Big-Eyed Bugs

    big-eyed bug

    Big-eyed bugs are generalist predators that consume a wide variety of small prey including insect eggs, mites, aphids, and small caterpillars. These beneficial bugs can be found in landscapes, gardens, and many vegetable and field crops.
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    Beneficial True Bugs: Damsel Bugs

    big-eyed bug

    Damsel bugs are generalist predators that consume a wide variety of prey including insect eggs, caterpillars, mites, and aphids. These beneficial bugs can be found in landscapes, gardens, and many field crops.
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    Blue Orchard Bee

    blue orchard bee

    Blue orchard bees are solitary (do not live in a hive) and nest in pre-existing cavities. Blue orchard bees prefer fruit trees from the family Rosaceae, including apple, cherry, and peach. 
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    Gardening and Landscaping Practices for Nesting Native Bees

    gardeing for native bees

    About 1,000 species of native bees reside in Utah; few of them are social. Some wild bees excel at pollinating Utah's tree fruits, raspberries, squashes, melons and cucumbers. Most of these native bees nest solitarily underground.
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    Gardening for Native Bees in Utah and Beyond

    gardeing for native bees

    900 speicies of native bees reside in Utah. Some wild bees are superb pollinators of Utah's tree fruits, raspberries, squashes, melons and cucumbers. Few of our native bees have much venom or any inclination to sting.
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    Reducing Pesticide Poisoning of Bees

    reducing pesticide poisoning of bees

    Choose insecticides that are non hazardous to bees whenever possible. The more hazardous insecticide active ingredients include many of the organophosphates and the carbamates, and some of the synthetic pyrethroids and neonicotinoids.
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