Fact Sheets - Beneficial InsectsFor more beneficial insect information reference the Beneficial Insects of Utah Guide, Beneficial Insects & Pests of Utah Alfalfa Guide, and Greenhouse Biocontrol in Utah Guide
Aphid Natural Enemies and Biological Control
Aphids are prey to many predatory insects, spiders, and parasitoids. Healthy predatory populations keep aphid populations low, which can reduce or eliminate the need for chemical controls.
Beginner's Guide to Common Native Bees
This is a new guide for the beginner bee enthusiast! Here you will become better acquainted with some of Utah's more than 1,000 native bee species. Solitary bees, social cavity nesting bees, exotic bees, and bee lookalikes are included. Human-caused impacts on bees and the importance of creating bee-friendly landscapes are also discussed.
Beneficial Insects: Beetles
Many beetles are beneficial insects, either predatory on other insects or eating plants considered weeds. For certain widespread insect and weed problems, beetles are intentionally released to biological control.
Beneficial Insects: Big-Eyed Bugs
Big-eyed bugs are generalist predators that consume a wide variety of small prey including insect eggs, mites, aphids, and small caterpillars. These beneficial bugs can be found in landscapes, gardens, and many vegetable and field crops.
Beneficial Insects: Damsel Bugs
Damsel bugs are generalist predators that consume a wide variety of prey including insect eggs, caterpillars, mites, and aphids. These beneficial bugs can be found in landscapes, gardens, and many field crops.
Beneficial Insects: Lacewings and Antlions
Lacewings and antlions are considered beneficial because the larvae eat a wide variety of soft-bodied insects. Adult lacewings feed on nectar, pollen, and aphid honeydew. Brown lacewing and antlion adults are also predatory on other insects.
Beneficial Insects: Mantids
Mantids are predatory insects common in gardens and flower beds. Buying mantid egg cases can provide some pest control, but often nymphs and adults are cannibalistic and indiscriminate carnivores.
Beneficial Insects: Minute Pirate Bugs
Minute pirate bugs are generalist predators of spider mites, aphids, thrips, psyllids, white flies, insect eggs, and small caterpillars.
Beneficial Insects: Syrphid Flies
Syrphid are beneficial predators of small soft-bodied pests like aphids, thrips, and scale insects. Adults may feed on pollen and nectar, pollinating plants in the process.
Beneficial Insects: True Bugs
True bugs are fluid feeding insects that suck out juices from plants and animals. Nymphs and adults feed on the same prey, especially soft-bodied insects like aphids and caterpillars.
Beneficial Predatory Mites
Predatory mites feed on all life stages of many small arthropods and target pest spider mites. Most predatory mite species do best in humid conditions and controlled environments such as greenhouses and high tunnels.
Blue Orchard Bee
Blue orchard bees are solitary (do not live in a hive) and nest in pre-existing cavities. Blue orchard bees prefer fruit trees from the family Rosaceae, including apple, cherry, and peach.
Blue Orchard Bee: Commercial Pollinator for Orchards
The most common mason bee in Utah is the blue orchard bee. Blue orchard bees collect pollen from a large variety of flowering plants but prefer fruit trees from the family Rosaceae. Recent concerns about honey bees, coupled with the blue orchard bee’s superior pollination of tree fruits, have increased interest in rearing blue orchard bees.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug - Predatory Samurai Wasp in Utah
Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an invasive insect that first invaded Utah in 2012. It has since caused urban nuisance problems and poses a serious threat to various commercial fruit and vegetable crops. In June 2019, the samurai wasp was discovered in Salt Lake City.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Parasitoids
This fact sheet describes some of the parasitoid wasps that have been found in Utah, as well as Trissolcus japonicus, a very effective parasitoid wasp that is native to the brown marmorated stink bug’s home range and has been found in the U.S., but has not yet been detected in Utah.
Factors Contributing to Bee Decline
In Utah and globally, bees are on the decline due to habitat loss, improper apiary management, pesticide usage, climate change, pests and pathogens, competition among native and introduced bee species, and poor nutrition. Acting together, these factors intensify the pressure for survival beyond the adaptability of many species. Meaningful actions to help bees in your landscape are addressed.
Gardening and Landscaping Practices for Nesting Native Bees
About 1,100 species of native bees reside in Utah; few of them are social. Some wild bees excel at pollinating Utah's tree fruits, raspberries, squashes, melons and cucumbers. Most of these native bees nest solitarily underground.
Gardening for Native Bees in Utah and Beyond
About 1,100 species of native bees reside in Utah. Some wild bees are superb pollinators of Utah's tree fruits, raspberries, squashes, melons and cucumbers. Few of our native bees have much venom or any inclination to sting.
Making and Managing Wild Bee Hotels
Many native and managed bee species readily nest in bee hotels. This fact sheet discusses common hotel guests in Utah, proper hotel materials and placement, and the maintenance needed to keep your nesting bees healthy.
Reducing Pesticide Poisoning of Bees
Choose insecticides that are non hazardous to bees whenever possible. The more hazardous insecticide active ingredients include many of the organophosphates and the carbamates, and some of the synthetic pyrethroids and neonicotinoids.