How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Natural enemies

Natural enemies attack and feed on other animals. Some predators and many parasites are quite specialized and confine their feeding to only one or a few closely related species, whereas a general predator feeds on a wide variety of prey. Trichogramma and Apanteles parasites can help control looper populations. General predators are very important in gardens and small farms with a diversity of crops and potential pests. Because they subsist on a variety of insects and mites, general predators will often be present in the garden before serious pests arrive and will be able to provide immediate assistance in their control. Some of the most common general predators are green lacewings, damsel bugs, assassin bugs, bigeyed bugs, minute pirate bugs, soldier beetles, ground beetles, and spiders.

Adult of the parasite Apanteles
Adult of the parasite Apanteles

Looper parasitized with Apanteles  larvae
Looper parasitized with Apanteles larvae


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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