Pest control from wild beneficial insects is worth $4.5 billion annually to the United States agriculture industry. Conservation biological control is the practice of strategically providing habitat for these beneficial predator species. Whether we recognize it or not, internecine warfare is happening all around us: sphecid wasps are paralyzing caterpillars, lacewing larvae are gobbling up mealybugs, and minute pirate bugs are piercing and destroying thrips in our living collections.
Public gardens can better serve as a haven for these natural enemies, whose benefits are often understated. However, maintaining the high aesthetics of a world class botanic garden while prioritizing environmental sensitivity is no easy task. Join the Xerces Society and both small and large public gardens to learn about the fascinating cast of characters present in our gardens, and what our field has done and can do to support them.
This event is approved for .5 ISA credit hours.