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Pesticides and Water Quality

Natural Enemies

Most gardens contain many more types of natural enemies, or beneficial insects, than pest insects

Beneficial insects and other organisms that kill pest insects are called natural enemies. In any pest management or plant care program, it is important to encourage these natural enemies by avoiding pesticides that kill them. You can also encourage beneficial insects by choosing plants that provide them with pollen, nectar, and shelter and keeping ants out of pest infested plants. Learn to identify natural enemies, both in their adult forms and immature (larval) stages.

Common natural enemies found in California gardens include:


A syrphid fly adult.

For more information on many other common beneficial insects, see:


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