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Supporting biocontrol with garden plants

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  • Biological control (“Biocontrol”) is the use of living organisms to suppress pest populations. Insect predators and parasitoids are important biocontrol agents (also known as natural enemies) in garden systems. Studies have examined the relative attractiveness of garden plants to insect natural enemies in other areas of the United States, but no studies were available for plants native to the Pacific Northwest. We conducted a three-year study to identify PNW native plants that support robust communities of insect predators and parasitoids. We wanted to find plants that had a high abundance and diversity of natural enemies, as well as a relatively low abundance of herbivorous prey (that might be garden pests). We also included 4 non-native plants that are common in gardens in our study (lavender, oregano, pineapple sage, and catnip).
  • In cooperation with 10-Minute University, and funded by the Clackamas County Master Gardener Association, these briefs will help you translate research findings into sustainable gardening practices.
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  • The Garden Ecology Lab Briefs are supported in part by a Gray & Norrene Thompson Community Projects Grant, 10-Minute University, and the Clackamas County Master Gardener Association.
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