Insect Management

Insect Pest Management

  • Insect Identification
  • Organic Insecticide Use
  • Insecticide Alternatives
  • Habitat Management
  • Additional Information

Insects can truly make or break crop systems. Organic farms are home to a more balanced and sustainable community of beneficial insects than conventional ones, and there are quite a few cultural techniques that can improve within-field habitat to encourage natural pest suppression services. Still, herbivorous pests can be devastating, but they can also be managed effectively using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies that promote regular monitoring, and proper pest identification. This will enable thoughtful choices of pest control tools that are the most affordable, specific, effective, and will reduce damage to the insect predator community. We’ll provide several resources here to help implement sustainable organic IPM strategies.

Insect Identification

Vegetable Pests:

The Vegetable Insects And Their Management website produced by Dr. Rick Foster and Purdue’s Entomology Extension contains photos you can use to identify vegetable pests and the types of damage they inflict for specific crops.

Beneficial Insects:

Predators and Parasitoids

Dr. Mary Gardiner at the Ohio State University produced an excellent natural enemy field guide. This guide will help to identify predatory insects, and describe the pests they commonly prey on.

This video by Rick Foster and John Obermeyer at Purdue University demonstrates the effectiveness of beneficial insects in controlling insect pests.

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