You may not realize it, but some bugs are actually good for your garden. We call those bugs the “beneficial bugs” (BB), and they can help by eating pest insects that want to eat your plants. Your backyard has thousands of insects, and of them, most are either beneficial or harmless. They fall into three categories.
- Predators: They eliminate pests by eating them.
- Pollinators: We depend on these insects to pollinate our garden flowers.
- Parasitizers: Like predators, they prey on other insects, but in a different way. They lay their eggs on or in the bad bugs, and when the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the hosts.
To introduce you to “beneficial bugs,” we’ve created a list.
These BBs feed on nectar and pollen, but their larvae prey on pests like aphids and caterpillars.
You may think of them as harmless or even cute, but did you know these little guys are fierce. As they start in life, they cruise around feasting on aphids. In fact, ladybug larvae can eat up to 40 aphids an hour.
Not everyone’s favorite arachnid (that’s right, it’s technically not an insect), but spiders are great pest controllers. They are attracted by movement and eat many live insects and are great at keeping pests under control.
Both beneficial as larvae or as adults, ground beetles will eat a wide range of insects, including caterpillars, slugs, silverfish, thrips and nematodes.
These BBs look like tiny Yellowjackets, but they don’t have a stinger. They feed on pollen and nectar and extremely important pollinators. Their larvae are ferocious predators as well. They will kill aphids, caterpillars, beetles and thrips.
We’ve only touched on a few beneficial bugs for your garden, and like all living creatures, they have a basic need for food, water and shelter. By providing these things, your garden will become an inviting home for them.
The Bug Man knows all things bugs; if you need advice or assistance attracting good bugs or getting rid of the bad ones, give us a call.