Demonstrating creation of habitat for beneficial insects – Year 1
Dunn, Amara; Eshenaur, Brian; Lamb, Elizabeth
Many people are interested in protecting pollinators by creating good habitat for them. The same habitat (flowers and grasses of varied shapes and sizes that provide blooms throughout the growing season) is also good for other beneficial insects (and similar creatures like spiders) that are natural enemies of pests. There are a lot of different ways to establish these plants and manage weeds during the establishment process. We wanted to demonstrate some of these options, while also collecting data on how effective and costly each method was. In this first year of the project we used six different methods to establish habitat plants for beneficial insects, collected data on the time and costs required and weed control achieved using each method, and visually documented the growth of the habitat plants during the first growing season. Not surprisingly, using transplants resulted in much larger habitat plants by the end of the season compared to direct seeding, but was also much more expensive. Successfully establishing habitat for beneficial insects is a multi-year process. In subsequent years, we will continue to collect similar data. We will also document and quantify the beneficial insects (pollinators and natural enemies) and pests that can be found in the habitat we have created, and the adjacent Christmas tree planting.
NYS IPM Type: Project Report
New York State Integrated Pest Management Program
Community IPM; Agricultural IPM; Biocontrol