Visit to learn more about beneficials

The Field Heroes website shows how natural enemies can help manage insect pest populations. Scouting is still necessary because beneficial insects do not always keep pest damage below economic levels, but spraying without consideration for economic thresholds can hurt the farm bottomline and also cause unnecessary damage to these beneficial insects.

Some interesting facts from the website:

Diamondback moths have quite a few natural enemies, including four tiny parasitoid species. Over a 10-year period in Saskatchewan, 35% to 81% of first generation larvae of the diamondback moth were parasitized by Diadegma insularis and Microplitis plutellae. Read more.

Parasitism of bertha armyworm by the parasitoid wasp Banchus flavescens may exceed 40% in some years. Read more.

Ground beetles are among the most important cutworm predators, with about 400 species on the Canadian Prairies and upwards of 80 species present in any field. Read more. [From a weed management, ground beetles also eat a lot of weed seeds, helping to keep weed seedbanks in check.]

The Western Grains Research Foundation supported development of the Field Heroes website in 2017, with input from members of the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network.