Pests & Predators Podcast, Ep 24: Ground beetles to the rescue!

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Scouting fields, it’s very common to see several species of beetle scurrying along the ground and up plants. Plenty of these beetles are likely friends and not foes, as ground beetles are a diverse species with plenty of members doing good work in the crop canopy.

Dr. Khaldoun Ali, a plant-insect ecologist at the University of Saskatchewan, says that there are ground beetles found everywhere in the world except the deserts. These generalists eat weed seeds and several other insect types, including aphids, caterpillars, midges, earthworms, slugs, and spring tails.

Although they are omnivores and eat a varied diet, Ali says that certain species of ground beetle can be quite selective in which insects or weed seeds they devour.

Ground beetles are often black, but some species have a green sheen or spots. The key, says Ali, is to understand that these numerous wee insects are doing good work, and are nothing to be concerned about when scouting for pest species.

Check out the full discussion on ground beetle biology and identification in this episode of the Pests & Predators podcast, brought to you by Field Heroes.

Want to hear past episodes? Tap here, or download for later below.

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