University of Maryland Extension

Pollinators and Natural Enemies

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Did you know that over 1,000 different types (species) of insects reside on the average size home lot? Many of them are beneficial to us in that they pollinate our plants and prey on plant pests. Most other insects are not directly beneficial to us, but serve as an important food source for other species.

Pollinators: Pollinators include butterflies, bees, and numerous other insects that assist in plant reproduction. World-wide, one out of three bites of food is possible because of pollinating insects.

 Kathy Keatley Garvey, UCANR
Honey bee visiting a cucumber flower. Photo: Kathy Keatley Garvey, UCANR

Natural Enemies: Predators, parasitoids, and certain diseases are natural enemies that control plant pests in our gardens and mostly go unnoticed.

 Susan Levi-GoerlichPraying mantis eating a brown marmorated stinkbug.  Photo: Susan Levi-Goerlich

Attracting Pollinators/Natural Enemies: Plant a wide variety of flowering plants, including herbs, to give the "good guys" food and a place to hang out.

Monarch butterfly caterpillar on milkweedMonarch butterfly caterpillar on Asclepias tuberosa

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