Supporting New York's Beneficial Insects

a collage of dung beetles not to size

Dung beetles are a beneficial part of the agricultural integrated pest management toolkit, helping to control unwanted pests, such as horn and face flies. These industrious insects play a crucial role in maintaining ecosystem balance by efficiently recycling dung, improving soil quality, and reducing the prevalence of harmful pests.

flowers blooming around a power pole

The same habitat (flowers and grasses of varied shapes and sizes that provide blooms throughout the growing season) is also good for other beneficial insects (and similar creatures like spiders) that are natural enemies of pests. There are many ways to establish these plants and manage weeds during the establishment process.

Long red and black bug feeding on gray mass. Photo Credit: 2016 Flickr, Guido Bohne.

Reducing pest populations (or maintaining them at a low level) using living organisms (natural enemies, biocontrol agents) or the things they produce. It is one component of an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy that helps you reduce risks to yourself and the environment.

a group of bee hives

Research on Alternatives to Neonicotinoid Insecticides

Beneficial Insect Factsheets

Hover Fly

Biocontrol Agent Factsheet

Pests Targeted:  Aphids, Caterpillars, Leafhoppers, Planthoppers, Mealy Bugs, Thrips
Commercially Available? Yes
Scientific Name: Syrphidae, e.g. Episyrphus balteatus
Biocontrol Agent Type: Predator

Rove Beetle

Biocontrol Agent Fact Sheet
These predatory beetles are beneficial to farmers and gardeners, because they can reduce pest populations, also referred to as biological control, however, because rove beetles are generalist predators, they can also reduce populations of beneficial insects such as beneficial predatory mite eggs and nymphs. 

Biocontrol Agent Factsheet

Pests Targeted: Thrips, Spider Mites, Aphids, Leafhoppers, Caterpillars, Springtails and Whiteflies.
Commercially Available? Yes
Scientific Name: Orius tristicolorOrius insidiosus
Biocontrol Agent Type: Predator