Beneficial insects – the back pocket guide

Published: 14 May 2021

All insects and other invertebrates (such as mites and spiders) have specific roles in the environment. These may include seed dispersal, nutrient cycling and pollination of crops and native plants. Additionally, there are many naturally occurring species that keep pest insect populations in check. These beneficial insects (sometimes referred to as ‘natural enemies’) play a vital biological control role in many cropping systems.

Some species are transient – moving in and out of crops, often following the movement patterns of pests, while others are resident – permanently living within the system and usually having limited dispersal capabilities.

Beneficial insects can be encouraged by better targeting and reducing insecticide applications, as well as providing alternate food sources and refuge habitat on farms. This guide is designed to assist growers identify some of the most commonly observed beneficial insects found across the southern and western cropping regions.

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Region: South; West