Why recognize natural enemies and spiders?
These arthropods provide natural pest control by feeding on pest insects, including aphids, thrips, caterpillars and beetles that damage crops and other plants. The ability to distinguish natural enemies from pest insects will help you make informed pest control decisions.
The information here about natural enemies was developed for the publication Identifying Natural Enemies in Crops and Landscapes by Mary Gardiner, Christina DiFonzo, Michael Brewer and Takuji Noma. This is a pocket-sized guide for reference in the field. Although it is geared for field crops, it is appropriate for use in other crops, and by gardeners and by homeowners. To purchase a copy of the pocket-sized field guide, visit shop.msu.edu The publication number is #2949.
Follow these links to learn about specific insects within these major groups of natural enemies and spiders:
Encourage natural enemies by planting native Michigan plants
Natural enemies and bees need pollen and nectar to survive. MSU is studying native Michigan flowering plants that can provide these resources for farmers and gardeners throughout the growing season. Planting these native Michigan perennials adjacent to crops could help increase the abundance of these insects over the long-term, leading to less need for pesticide sprays and greater fruit set and yield. Learn more at the Native Plants and Ecosystem Services website.