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Beneficial Insects - Natural Enemies

Beneficial Insects – Natural Enemies

Natural enemies are organisms that kill, decrease the reproductive potential or otherwise reduce the numbers of another organism. Natural enemies that limit pests are key components of integrated pest management programs. Some of the natural enemies to encourage in your garden are the lady beetle, mealybug destroyer, and the syrphid fly. Click this link to go to the UC IPM website Natural Enemies Gallery for more information on these and other beneficial insects.

Convergent Lady Beetle
Both adults and larvae of lady beetles feed primarily on aphids and occasionally on whiteflies, other soft-bodied insects, and insect eggs.

Adult convergent lady beetle feeding on aphids Larva of convergent lady beetle

Mealybug Destroyer
Both adults and larvae feed on exposed mealybug species and other homopterans such as the green shield scale. C. montrouzieri are most effective at controlling mealybugs when the mealybug population is high.

Adult mealybug destroyer Mealybug destroyer larva feeding on citrus mealybug

Syrphid Fly
Syrphid flies are regularly found where aphids are present in agricultural, landscape, and garden habitats. Adults of this stingless fly hover around flowers, have black and yellow bands on their abdomen, and are often confused with honeybees.

Adult syrphid fly Syrphid fly larva preying on aphids