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Natural Enemies Quick List

Natural Enemy
How They Help
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The Predators

Lady Beetles (aka Ladybugs) Larvae eat soft-bodied pests, scales, spider mites, mealybugs, thrips, and whiteflies. Adults have a similar diet, but also need pollen and nectar in their diet.
Predatory Beetles

Ground beetles feed on caterpillars, slugs, snails, and grasshopper eggs.

Blister beetles feed on grasshopper eggs, soft-bodied insects, and grubs.

Rove beetles can eat root maggot young, mites, and other small insects.

Their preferred habitat can vary. Many ground beetles are attracted to low growing plants that provide some cover from their enemies.
Predatory Mites Predatory mites feed on pest mites, scales, thrips, and insect eggs.
Spiders Spiders feed on a wide range of insects and mites. Some types stalk and hunt insects, while others weave webs and wait for insects to become trapped.
The Parasitoids

Parasitic Wasps Adults lay their eggs in the body or eggs of pests like caterpillars, aphids, beetle larvae, and sawflies. As the larvae grow, they feed on and kill the pest. Adults actually feed on nectar from flowering plants.
Tachinid Flies Adults lay their eggs near, on, or inside of pests like caterpillars, grasshoppers, some beetles, and sawfly larvae. The larvae feed on and kill the pest.
Rove Beetles A few types of rove beetles have larvae that seek out and eat the larvae of root maggots.
The Pollinators

Bees Adults collect and carry pollen to and from flowering plants as they search for food to take back to their young.
Bees need a steady source of pollen, nectar, and water throughout most of the year.
Syrphid Flies
Adults eat only pollen and nectar. As they visit flowers in search of food, the help with pollination.
Larvae will actually search for and eat soft-bodied insects.
The Non-insect Natural Enemies

Birds, Bats, Toads, and Turtles
These animals can all feed on insects. Some of the pests they eat include snails, slugs, and grubs.
Soil Invertebrates
These guys break down soil by feeding on decaying plant matter, fungi, and algae.
Springtails, earthworms, and other invertebrates might look like insects, but they aren't.
Pathogens Some types of fungi, bacteria, nematodes, and viruses can play a role in keeping pest numbers down.
Last updated June 12, 2015

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