PUBLISHED ON May 19th, 2015
Losses in natural habitats have led to the decline of around 50 butterfly species in eastern Washington. After wine growers and University of Washington researchers conducted experiments using sustainable pest management systems, they accidentally discovered that their efforts increased local butterfly populations. Because of the earth-friendly pest control, Washington wine growers that created a natural habitat for beneficial insects had three times more butterflies species visiting them and four times more total butterflies than traditional vineyards.
Like the population of honeybees, butterfly populations have declined across the U.S. By working with natural pest control experts, Washington wine growers stopped using harmful pesticides and created natural habitats with native shrub-steppe plants around the vineyards to keep out harmful insects (e.g., mealybugs) and attract beneficial insects (e.g., parasitic wasps) that feed on pests. The arrival of butterflies was an unexpected, welcome surprise.
Most eastern Washington vineyards see about five different butterfly species, but the ones with habitat enhancements saw about 20 different species. While butterflies don’t protect the vineyards or provide wine growers with economical benefits, they are pollinators and an important element of the ecosystem. Furthermore, having butterflies flutter around a vineyard increases its aesthetic appeal and provides proof of earth-friendly pest control practices.
They comeback of butterflies to eastern Washington helps improve the health of local ecosystems and shows that agriculture and nature conservation can work together. Seattle pest control experts share that your garden can also provide a habitat that attracts butterflies and other beneficial pests when you eliminate the use of synthetic pesticides and use native plants, like desert buckwheat.
In addition to eco-friendly pest control, Eden provides sustainable pest management with its Plantscape Management services. Using integrated pest management and bio-fertilization techniques, Eden’s solutions promote root growth and naturally enhance the overall health of plants so they’re more resistant to diseases, garden pests and droughts. Get in touch with Eden today to schedule a free consultation.