Beneficial insects and other invertebrates (‘beneficials’) include pollinators, nutrient cyclers, predators and parasitoids of plant pests. The role that predators and parasitoids play in pest suppression on farms is becoming increasingly evident.
To reach their potential, and to maximise their value to growers, predators and parasitoids require suitable habitat. Research led by Charles Sturt University demonstrates that taking the time to create suitable habitat close to crop rows using fast-growing, nectar-producing species, can increase beneficial activity and lead to economic benefits.
Using results from Australian on-farm trials and international findings, this fact sheet covers evidence-based actions to support beneficials and suppress pests in vegetable crops. These actions involve establishing strips of plants in vegetable paddocks to act as habitat and provide food for beneficials, or to attract and ‘trap’ pest species by limiting their development.