Extension Integrated Pest Management team helps Northwest residents attract insect predators, pollinators with Hortsense

Image of a tiger swallowtail butterfly amid purple flowers.Through a new upgrade to their popular Hortsense website, a team of scientists at Washington State University are helping Extension agents, Master Gardeners, and Washington residents attract beneficial insects, predators and pollinators to their gardens, farms and landscapes.

Carrie Foss, director of the Urban Integrated Pest Management program, partnering with David James, WSU entomologist, added a new category, Natural Enemies & Pollinators, to Hortsense, Extension’s public resource for managing common landscape and garden plant problems.

Beneficial insects are an important part of integrated pest management, or IPM, an approach that uses natural predators and parasites to sustainably manage pests, conserve resources and protect human health and the environment. The new Natural Enemies & Pollinators resource includes 40 colorful fact sheets sharing descriptions and information about predators, prey, and ways to attract and keep beneficial insects.

James provided content and images for the new Hortsense category, taken from his Extension bulletin, Beneficial Insects, Spiders, and Other Mini-Creatures in Your Garden: Who They Are and How to Get Them to Stay.

Begun as a database in 1994, today’s Hortsense has more than 1,000 fact sheets and 2,400 images to assist in identifying and managing plant problems in the home garden. This latest project is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Extension IPM Implementation Program.

Learn more about WSU Integrated Pest Management in its quarterly newsletter.