See your options when looking to use beneficial predator insects as part of your Integrated Pest Management program.

Using beneficial predator insects is an option to use as part of your Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. We recently shared a blog about UF/IFAS IPM practices, and using beneficial insects is one of those practices. UF/IFAS shared a list of beneficial insects that are predators to pests. UF/IFAS maintained “Beneficial predators feed on many insects that are considered pests. The following predators are important to integrated pest management programs.” See them below.

Beneficial Predator Insects

These are beneficial predator insects that UF/IFAS maintain are useful for those in agriculture:

Assassin Bugs

You can usually find an assassin bug in foliage, which is where they attack insects such as caterpillars. Although assassin bugs are typically black or brown, they can also be brightly colored.

Ground Beetles

Adult ground beetles are black (sometimes they may be metallic) and can be about an inch long. Both adults and larvae, which are active at night, feed on pests such as crickets and earwigs.


These green insects can be found on grass, weeds, and shrubs. Lacewing larvae feed on aphids.


Adult ladybugs, as well as larvae, feed on soft-bodied pests such as aphids and mealybugs. Ladybugs have oval bodies and can be an array of colors, but the most well-known species are usually orange or red with black markings.

Praying Mantids

Adult praying mantids can be identified by their brown or green bodies that are typically more than two inches longs. Praying mantids wait in foliage to ambush their prey. Although it may look like they’re praying, their front legs are modified to grab and hold prey.


Spiders, who are all predators, feed on a variety of insects. Spiders that don’t build webs are particularly useful in controlling pests that live in soil surface or plant foliage.”

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