Create beetle banks on farmland
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Beetle banks are raised strips which run through a field, typically planted with grasses. They primarily serve as an overwintering habitat for beetles, which provide pest control in the spring. By dividing the field, beetle banks reduce the distance that predators have to travel to reach the centre of the crop, a potential problem if overwintering habitat occurs only at the field edge. Beetle banks may also harbour other wildlife, such as small mammals.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A site comparison study in 1998 on an arable farm in Leicestershire, UK (Bence et al. 2003) found that beetle banks had higher densities of harvest mouse Micromys minutus nests than did field margins. The density of harvest mouse nests in beetle banks (117/ha) was higher than in field margins (14/ha). Beetle banks, created in 1992–1994, were 2–2.5 m wide, positioned down field centres and sown with tussock-forming grasses. They were cut during the first year but not thereafter. Field margins were ≥1 m wide, comprised perennial grasses and herbs and were mostly uncut. Harvest mouse nests were surveyed in September–November 1998 along 1,800 m length of beetle banks and 9,800 m length of field margins.Study and other actions tested