Can you imagine a world without chocolate? Oh, the horror! That’s a world we might have to imagine if there were no chocolate midges, which are the only pollinators of cacao flowers. Pollinators are essential for chocolate and about one in three bites of other foods we eat. Without pollinators, our diets would be limited to things like wheat, rice and potatoes. We wouldn’t have delicious fruits like kiwi, watermelons, blueberries or our beloved chocolate. In addition to the plants we eat, about 90% of flowering plants on Earth depend on pollinators. Without pollinators, not only would our diets be boring, but the world would be a pretty different place with less biodiversity and beauty.
Provide food, water and shelter in your yard to create habitat for pollinators.
Caption: An example of a front yard in the Truckee Meadows where the lawn was replaced with native and drought-tolerant perennials that provide habitat for pollinators. Credit: Carrie Jensen
When it comes to managing pests in our yards, pesticides should only be used when they are really needed. Prevention and good common sense can go a long way to reducing pests from the start. Try these Integrated Pest Management techniques:
Caption: Beneficial insects, like this ladybird beetle, can help control garden pests such as aphids. Photo credit: Pixnio, CC0.
Caption: This is the EPA bee advisory symbol, which alerts pesticide users to separate restrictions and instructions to protect bees and other insect pollinators.
For more information, we also have a bilingual fact sheet on how to protect pollinators during pesticide application.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Award No. 2021-70006-35488. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Integrated Pest Management
Integrated Pest Management program is a long-term management strategy that uses a combination of tactics to reduce pests to tolerable levels with potentially lower costs for the pest manager and minimal effect on the environment.
Jensen, C. and Kratsch, H., 2023, Pollinator Protection, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno
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