Field experiments were conducted to investigate the mechanism underlying patterns of the rove beetle populations in apple and pear orchards (1998–2002) and winter wheat (2006–2007) in Hungary following treatment with broad-spectrum insecticide. The capacity of predatory staphylinid species to feed on cereal pests was measured, with six species tested in petri dishes, in the laboratory at room temperature. Almost 23% of the Hungarian and 13% of the European staphylinid fauna are represented in the investigated agro-ecosystems. In orchards, 5236 individuals, belonging to 253 species, were collected. The most widely occurring were Omalium caesum Gravenhorst, Drusilla canaliculata (F.), Dinaraea angustula (Gyllenhal), Palporus nitidulus (F.), Xantholinus. longiventris (Olivier), X. linearis (Olivier) and Aleochara bipustulata (L.). In winter wheat, 798 individuals and 20 species were collected, the most frequent were Staphylinus caesareus Cederh, Tachyporus hypnorum (F.), Philonthus cognatus (Stephens), Aloconota gregaria (Erichson), Tachyporus chrysomelinus (L.) and T. obtusus (L.). Species composition differed by crop (apple, pear and wheat), soil composition and surrounding habitat. Species diversity was also influenced by these parameters. In wheat, one acute change in species composition was observed with the decline of Tachyporus spp., which occurred equally across all farms. The consumption rate of prey by the dominant species occurring in wheat ecosystems was relatively high; however, we did not offer any fungal food to compare with insects' prey.