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WSU Decision Aid System

Pesticide Effects on Natural Enemies

Natural enemies are beneficial insects and mites that help suppress pest populations, for example spider mites and aphids. Natural enemies include lacewings, lady beetles, predatory mites, and many other species. Natural enemies can be affected by pesticides sprayed in orchards.

Each pesticide in the spray guide shows a color gradient that indicates the negative side effects on different natural enemy species from various sources (check OPENED enhancedbiocontrol.org/opened for more information). These effects are classified as:
  • Low (green)

  • Medium (yellow)

  • High (red)





The number in the blue icon indicates how many studies from different data sources are included in the gradient.

Gradients that have a badge show the long-term effects a pesticide can have on the entire population of a natural enemy.

Gradients without this badge are solely based on acute toxicity, which is the mortality of a natural enemy adult or immature 48 hours after pesticide exposure.


The detailed pesticide information lists pesticide effects separated out by groups of natural enemies.

Hovering over a color gradient reveals the effects on individual species within a natural enemy group.

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