Beneficial Bugs – It’s no secret that pesky bugs can ruin your garden. However, not all bugs are bad news for the plants in your garden. Some of them will suck out the juices of vegetables and fruit, but others help keep pests at bay or even pollinate flowers. If you want to grow a beautiful organic garden, learning about some of these helpful insects may be beneficial. Discussed below are beneficial garden insects that are good for your garden or yard.
Ladybugs are some of the most popular beneficial garden bugs, and for a good reason. These little red and black beetles eat many pests, including aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, and whiteflies. A single ladybug can consume up to 50 aphids per day. If you’re having trouble with any of these pests in your garden, then consider releasing some ladybugs into your garden. You can buy them online or at your local nursery.
2. Praying Mantis
Praying mantises are another great predator of harmful garden pests. These insects are voracious eaters and feed on anything from aphids to caterpillars. If you’re having trouble with tent worms or tomato hornworms, then these are the insects for you. They are often sold online or at your local nursery.
Lacewings are small orange and green bugs that eat many pests, including aphids, thrips, mealybugs, scales, whiteflies, mites, and crop pests like cabbage loopers. These insects are also considered good bugs for plants because they help pollinate plants while laying eggs in the soil near plants where their larvae can feed on garden pests when they hatch. You can buy lacewings online or at your local nursery.
4. Ground Beetles
Ground beetles are a great addition to your garden, but they can be a little harder to find. They tend to prefer cool climates and hide in leaf piles or under rocks during the day. However, at night, these insects forage for pests in your garden. You can also buy them online if you’re having trouble finding them.
Since spiders eat lots of small bugs, they can help control many types of pests that live in your garden soil or attack plants from the ground up (e.g., mealy root bugs, thrips). One spider can kill several hundred insects throughout its lifetime. Just make sure you have a diverse population of spiders in your garden by not using pesticides, especially insecticidal soaps. It’s also important to respect spiders and not kill them since they are beneficial garden bugs in more ways than just controlling pests.
Bees are probably the most well-known beneficial garden insects, and for a good reason. They help pollinate many plants, including fruits, vegetables, and flowers. By helping pollinate these plants, bees ensure that they produce fruit and vegetables. You can attract bees to your garden by planting lots of flowering plants. Some great bee-friendly plants include lavender, rosemary, borage, thyme, and oregano.
7. Hover Flies
Hoverflies, also known as syrphid flies, are another group of beneficial garden insects. These small black and yellow flies look a lot like bees, but they don’t sting. Hoverflies eat a variety of pests, including aphids, caterpillars, whiteflies, and thrips. You can attract hoverflies to your garden by planting different flowering plants. Some hover fly-friendly plants include dill, fennel, mints, parsley, and Queen Anne’s lace.
8. Soldier Beetles
Soldier beetles are a type of predatory beetle. As their name suggests, they’re known for eating lots of other insects, including aphids and caterpillars. Despite the name, soldier beetles don’t eat other beneficial insects like lacewings or ladybugs. You can attract these insects to your garden by planting bee-friendly plants like milkweed and coneflowers. Like with all beneficial bugs, it’s important not to use pesticides in your garden, especially insecticidal soaps, because it will kill off all of those helpful little guys.
9. Big-Eyed Bugs
Similar to soldier beetles, big-eyed bugs are good bugs for plants. These insects have a round, flat shape and large eyes, so they can see their prey from a distance before swooping in to eat them. Big-eyed bugs aim for young, tender plant parts where aphids like to feed. You can also attract these bugs to your garden by planting milkweed and coneflowers.
Dragonflies are the ultimate predator of garden pests. They eat just about anything that moves, including mosquitoes, flies, and other dragonflies. You can lure dragonflies to your garden by planting many flowering plants and using water features like ponds or fountains. Dragonflies need a place to rest during the day, so make sure to provide some perching spots like tall grasses or reeds.
11. Damsel Bugs
Damsel bugs are another type of predatory insect, similar to big-eyed bugs. They look like leafhoppers, but they have longer antennae and are more brightly colored with bright orange wings. Damsel bugs are good at catching aphids because they can fly fast enough to keep up with them. You can plant bee-friendly plants to invite these insects to your garden. Avoid using pesticides so that you don’t kill these good bugs for plants.
12 . Stink Bugs
Despite their name, Stink bugs are pretty helpful to have around the garden. They’ll eat just about any insect pest, including caterpillars, beetle larvae, and leafhoppers. Stink bugs love plants like coneflowers and milkweed, so consider adding these to your garden area. Like with other beneficial garden bugs, avoid the usage of pesticides in your garden.
As you can see, there are many beneficial insects that can nestle comfortably in your garden. These insects will help keep harmful insect pests at bay. By introducing helpful bugs to your garden, you can drastically cut down on your use of chemical pesticides. Many pest insects are easier to control when they’re young, so it’s important not to kill off all beneficial bugs before the bad guys grow up. Remember that these beneficial insects love flowers too, so don’t be afraid to plant some bee-friendly plants in your garden.
At Pest Control Unlimited, we understand that pesky insects aren’t always kept at bay by beneficial bugs alone, sometimes you will require the help of professional pest control services. We don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach and we’re careful not to kill off any of these beneficial bugs. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.