This strip of grass growing in the field serves as a beetle bank, providing shelter and overwintering home for predacious ground beetles.
Farmers in Oregon have been experimenting with different ways of attracting beneficial insects to their farms, including using "beetle banks" to increase populations of predacious ground beetles.
Gwendolyn Ellen, outreach director for Oregon State University’s Integrated Plant Protection Center, has been working with growers to establish raised strips of grasses that permanently stay in their field to provide year-round habitat for predacious ground beetles in cropping systems. The banks can be placed
near the edge of a field, along a strip in the middle, or other locations.
OSU is exploring a variety of on-farm methods for establishing beetle banks and studying their effects on ground beetle populations.