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Natural Predators

There are many predatory insects that live in agricultural fields, actively hunting down pests such as aphids, pollen beetles and slugs. These include well-known predators such as ladybirds, ground beetles, and wolf spiders and also lesser-known species such as lacewings, parasitic wasps and hoverfly larvae. These natural enemies often form the first line of defence against pest attack, helping to prevent pest outbreaks and reducing the need for insecticides.

Recent research indicates that insects are declining due to a range of pressures including climate change, invasive species, agro-chemicals and loss of natural habitats. These declining insects include many species that agriculture relies upon including natural predators. Creating habitat, foraging and overwintering sites can help to support predatory insects and increase their potential to keep pests at bay.

Photo of common green lacewing, credit to pete beard, flickr cc shared under licence (CC by 2.0)
Photo: p beard, flickr cc (CC by 2.0).

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