Farmers Turning Away From Pesticides And Toward Wildflowers

February 4, 2020

Credit: Leo Malsam / iStock / Getty Images Plus


As more information comes out over the negative effects of pesticides on crops, including the harmful impact on humans from both working around these chemicals as well as the consumer ingesting them, some farmers are increasingly turning to older methods to keep pests away. One in particular that is gaining momentum, is the practice of planting wildflowers around their crops. The flower beds provide a home for beneficial pest-predators such as parasitic wasps. These wasps are beneficial because they eat aphids and aphid larvae.

The flower strips being planted are known as a "bug highway." They are planted in between the crops. When mixed with herbs, studies have shown that these flower strips are effective in reducing the leaf damage associated with crops. While this method does not entirely eliminate the pests, it increases biodiversity and promotes safe and natural pest control.