Not all insects are bad. In fact, some insects are classified as “good,” in that they help keep other bug populations under control. “Good” insects are great biological forms of pest control for your garden, as they will eat the other “bad” bugs before they can eat your plants. Below we’ll discuss the top 5 insects that are good for your garden.
Ladybugs are the most common insects used for biological pest control in home gardens. The familiar red-and-black polka dotted critters feast on aphids, tearing through a colony rather quickly. Even ladybug larvae can consume 100 aphids per hour. Ladybugs can help control other insect outbreaks, such as spider mites and scale insects.
The best way to lure ladybugs to your garden is by planting plants that they attracted to, such as dill, angelica, and cilantro. You can also buy a colony of ladybugs to release in your garden.
Adult lacewings tend to prefer nectar and pollen, but their larvae absolutely love aphids, making green lacewing larvae a fantastic way to control your garden’s aphid population. Adult lacewings don’t get along with one another, which is why they’re sold as eggs – you can add them to your garden and enjoy the benefits of having their larvae present.
Nématode (Photo credit: cquintin)
If you want to kill pests below the soil, nematodes are the way to do it. These tiny, colorless roundworms wiggle their way into grubs, weevils, and beetles, effectively killing them with parasitic bacteria within days. You must be careful with nematodes, though – some will attack plant roots, and others can cause disease in humans.
Gardens wouldn’t be able to survive without honeybees. Honeybees are responsible for ensuring that your garden is properly pollinated. Honeybees are naturally drawn to plant life, although if you want to help the pollination process along, you can purchase or rent a honeybee hive for your yard. Not only will it support the growth of your plants, it will also provide you with a steady supply of fresh honey.
Next to ladybugs, praying mantises are the second best known “good” bug used for biological pest control purposes. This graceful insect is deadly to most bugs, and unlike other insects that are good for your garden, mantises prey on more than just aphids – they will eat anything they catch. In fact, some larger species have even been known to eat fish, lizards, frogs, snakes, birds, and rodents. The ones in your garden probably won’t be that big, though, so they’ll stick with catching and eating fellow bugs.
Maintaining a healthy garden can be a challenge, but with the help of these insects, you’re well on your way to enjoying a happy, healthy, pest-free garden.
About the author: Chris is an associate for a NJ pest control company.
Guest Post Published by Bulwark