Outcome of Managing Natural Habitat Can Aid in Organic Pest Control

The results of this project demonstrate that natural habitat does indeed provide a pest control service to farms.  This research has established that farms having a substantial amount (>50%) of natural habitat in the surrounding landscape have essentially doubled the biological pest control found on farms with less than 15% nearby natural habitat. Pests are constrained to some extent by ecosystem services but the degree to which this constraint can contribute to overall pest control is dependent on pest colonization and population growth early in the season. The potential for habitat around the farm to benefit pests as well as natural enemies is an important consideration in understanding the impact of habitat complexity on pest control services.