You’ve heard of bee hotels, you’ve probably heard of insect B&B’s, but have you ever heard of a beetle bank? In a recent webinar hosted by NACC NRM, we heard this term, and were intrigued.
Beetle banks invite natural pest control into your fields. A beetle bank is a berm planted with native grasses and/or wildflowers that attracts and supports predaceous ground beetles and other beneficial insects. Decomposing wood may also be added to beetle banks to enhance the habitat opportunities for beetles and above-ground nesting bees.
The predaceous beetles attracted to beetle banks are known to kill more than they can eat, providing heightened control of pests. The beetles are mostly active at night, so you might not see their armies at work, but you can easily see the results: fewer crop pests.
Beetle banks are typically planted within or around crops, as the predaceous beetles tend to forage only a limited distance from them. These schemes have been popular in Europe, in part due to subsidies through the EU. However, the potential benefits provided could be more than worth the trouble of planting the strips.
If you are interested in integrated pest management or beetle banks and want to discuss this further, please contact our Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitators: Annabelle (E) firstname.lastname@example.org or (P) 0448 986 879 or Lizzie (E) email@example.com or (P) 0447 361 335.