Identifying Natural Enemies

A new pocket guide developed by the Michigan State University (MSU) Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program can make the identification of insects and spiders easier.

“Identifying Natural Enemies in Field Crops” (MSU Extension Bulletin E2949) is geared for field crops, but the guide is appropriate for use with other crops. It provides information about a variety of common beneficial insects, both predators and parasitoids. The 46-page field guide features color pictures of common beneficial insects and spiders, in addition to information on identifiable traits and details about their lifecycles and diets.

Contents are divided according to the major category of natural enemy: beetles, true bugs, lacewings, predatory flies, parasitoids and ants. Another section is dedicated to spiders.

“Identifying Natural Enemies in Field Crops” is available for $10 ($7 per copy for orders of 10 or more) and can be purchased online at or by calling 517-353-6740. Sample pages can be viewed online at

The MSU IPM Program links MSU Extension field staff and campus faculty members with growers, crop consultants, public agencies and industry groups to advocate for practices that protect agricultural plant production and resulting products from pests while sustaining a healthy environment. To learn more about the MSU IPM Program, visit

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