Building beetle banks

Illustration of a beetle bank along row crops. Beetle not to scale!

Fight off pests and reduce the need for insecticides with one simple feature! Beetle banks are berms (an area of raised earth) planted with bunch grasses to provide habitat for predatory ground beetles. Beetle banks reduce pest pressure and the need for insecticides, while also helping suppress crop weeds!

Read on for easy instructions on how to build a beetle bank, or join us and our partners at the 2016 Farwest Show (Thursday, August 25th through Saturday the 27th) for a great informational display, complete with a beetle bank model!

Questions? Contact us for a free site visit for assistance with building a beetle bank, or with other questions or assistance you may need with your land.


How to Build a Beetle Bank

how to build a beetle bank

Build a beetle bank in 3 easy steps! Download the full postcard below.

  • Step 1 – Build it: Create a ridge using two-directional plowing or bed shaper for a berm 2-6 feet wide. The best time to build your beetle bank is in September or October.
  • Step 2 – Plant it: Drill or broadcast seeds over the mound at about 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet or plant grass plugs 18 inches apart. Use a mix of fescue, bent grass and at least 30% bunch grasses.
  • Step 3 – Maintain it: Mow once or twice a year for the first few years, with spot spraying or pulling if weeds persist. Stop mowing once the plants are established. They will begin crowding out the weeds.

Download the Beetle Bank postcard here! – postcard includes information on beneficial beetles, the pests they eat, and native grasses that support them. You can also learn how we Bring Beneficial Insects to the Farm at our Headwaters Farm location.