Beneficial Insects and Mites
Many insects and related arthropods perform functions that are directly or indirectly beneficial to humans. Although all the remaining nonpest species might be considered beneficial because they play important roles in the environment, the beneficial insects and mites used in pest management are natural enemies of pest species. Parasitoid means parasitelike. Although parasitoids are similar to true parasites, they differ in important ways. True parasites are generally much smaller than their hosts. The beneficial insects or mites are usually purchased from a commercial insectary (insect-rearing facility) and shipped in an inactive stage (eggs, pupae, or chilled adults) ready for placement into the habitat of the target pest. Mantid nymphs and adults are indiscriminate generalist predators that feed readily on a wide variety of insects, including many beneficial insects and other mantids. Most Trichogramma species lay their eggs into the eggs of moths and butterflies.