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In agriculture, a beetle bank is a strip of grass or perennial plants in a field that provide habitat which fosters and provides cover for insects hostile to pests.

They are used as a form of biological pest control to reduce or replace the use of insecticides.

Beetle banks can also serve as habitat for birds and rodents.

Origin

According to a March 2005 draft entry for the Oxford English Dictionary, the term first came into use in the early 1990s, with published examples including the August 22, 1992 issue of the New Scientist and an October 12, 1994 reference in The Guardian society section:
‘Beetle banks’, a recent initiative by the Game Conservancy Trust, would also help encourage ground-nesting birds while creating cover for aphid-eating bugs with more pay-off in savings on aphicides.
As of 2005 the website of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (formerly The Game Conservancy Trust) notes that the organization invented beetle banks in collaboration with the University of Southamptonmarker.

In practice

  • Beetle banks are for example used to lure Chrysoperla carnea and ichneumon flies. Belts are for example created made up from sunflowers, Vicia faba, Centaurea cyanus, coriander, Borage, and Buckwheat.


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