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On Tuesday and Wednesday, March 15 and 16, our ninth (and third all-virtual) Annual Conference invited the public to learn about Biological Control, what we called Partners in the Garden. Eighty registrants joined our ten speakers and IPM staff for informative presentations and discussion during two full mornings and a special afternoon workshop.

Conference Talks

Keynote: Fear as Biocontrol
Jennifer Thaler 

A major effect of predators on prey is through the risk of predation alone and risk alone can reduce pest numbers and crop damage. We’ll discuss crop systems where the risk of predation has been shown, how it works, and ideas for how to manipulate risk to control pests.

Signs of Natural Enemies at Work
Carol Glenister

How do you know when natural enemies are taking care of things? Here are some great signs that they are at work.

Lady bugs in Your Garden
John Losey 

Most of us recognize that ladybugs are good partners to have in the garden, but how can you best support them? In this talk you’ll learn whether you should buy and release ladybugs, how to attract them to your garden, and whether “ladybug homes” actually work.

Biocontrol for Weeds
Bryan Brown

This presentation reviewed available biocontrols for garden weeds, with a focus on integrating animals into your garden, but also touched on insects that can be promoted to improve weed management.

Biocontrol for Weeds [YouTube]

Workshop: Planning for Success in Attracting Natural Enemies
Speaker: Amara Dunn

In this hands-on workshop, we created plans to establish plants that support natural enemies of pests (and also pollinators) in our gardens. 

Using Pesticides Properly with Beneficials in Mind
Mary Centrella

This talk will address how to use pesticides properly and how to follow label language to mitigate risks to beneficials. We will also discuss the pesticide registration process, and how known risks to beneficials are identified and incorporated into the environmental hazard statements that appear on the label. 

Rearing Your Own Beneficials
Alejandro Calixto

Learn how to raise predatory insects and mites at home so you and your garden can be ready to withstand those pesky pests. 

Saving Spiders and Welcoming Wasps
Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann

Natural enemies of garden pests may be visibly active on nice days, but what other habitats do they use? Where do they spend the winter? Improve the abundance of predators and parasitoids by learning some key conservation strategies.

Entomopathogenic nematodes
Kyle Wickings