Thursday, May 14, 2015

Increasing natural habitat for sustainable pest management also brings back butterflies

Vineyards in eastern Washington have been working on reducing their pesticide usage.  To encourage the "good" bugs, the insects which will eat the pests at the vineyard, growers incorporated native plant habitats.  Not only did it attract the parasitic wasps and natural predator insects, the habitat-enhanced vineyards increased the abundance and diversity of butterflies.  Loss of habitat over the years has caused a decrease in butterflies and the habitat-enhanced vineyards have three times the species and four times the butterflies as nearby conventional vineyards.

woodland skipper (Ochlodes sylvanoides) by Joseph Berger,
Source Article: Vineyard natural habitats assist with butterfly comeback