For instance, pesticides would eliminate all insects regardless of their benefits to the plants. Studies show that; out of the known thousands of insects, you will find in your garden. Most of the insects in your garden are therefore helpful or harmless.
Some insects are quite helpful in your garden, while others are pests that destroy your plants. It is helpful for a gardener to know the type of bugs in the garden and how they affect their crops. With this knowledge, a gardener will decide what kind of treatment to use for their garden.
We will look at INSECTS GOOD FOR GARDEN, how they are likely to help your plants and how to attract insects to the garden. But first, let us look at the ways through which insects help your plants.
INSECTS GOOD FOR GARDEN help your plants thrive in different ways:
Pollinators: these insects are critical for pollinating your plants. They transfer pollen, facilitating the productivity of your plants, and they include moths, flies, butterflies, and bees.
Predators: these are insects that feed on other insects and, in the process, eliminating pests from your garden. They include ladybugs, green lacewing larvae, and praying mantis. The most natural way of controlling pests in your garden is by introducing these types of insects.
Parasites: these are different types of predators. They lay their eggs on the harmful bugs, and once their eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the host. The largest group in this category of parasitized is wasps.
INSECTS GOOD FOR GARDEN
This section will look at some of the bugs you might want to encourage in your garden and their benefits.
Ladybugs are some of the most useful insects in your garden. As they develop, ladybugs begin their lifecycle from eggs. These eggs then hatch into larvae. The larvae stage of the lady gub is the most useful to a gardener. This is because these semi-developed insects feed on the most destructive pests, aphids. In fact, a single ladybug larva can feed on 4oaphids in one hour.
These insects are useful to plants in two ways:
- Adult green lacewings feed on nectar and pollen, and in the process, they transfer pollen. They also help in the critical process of cross-pollination.
- These insects also lay their eggs on these plants, hatching them into useful larvae. Their larvae resemble a slug/an alligator, and they feed on soft-bodied pests such as aphids and caterpillars.
The praying mantis is a fierce predator. It preys on grasshoppers and any other insects it comes across in your garden. Also, keep in mind that the mantis will also kill useful insects such as butterflies, bees, and other praying mantises as it feeds on harmful insects.
Spiders are small bugs that do not fall under the classification of insects because of their body structure. Spiders are indeed arachnids, and they help in controlling pests in your garden. They are most useful because they trap live insects, killing them. Unfortunately, due to their poisonous bites, you may not encourage them in your garden.
The name refers to a group of beetles that are beneficial to gardeners as larvae and adults. These predatory insects feed on a wide range of insects and pests in your garden, including silverfish, slugs, weevils, thrips, caterpillars, and nematodes.
You, however, need to control the population of some of these beetles. Japanese beetles are the common destructive beetles that gnaw away plants and flowers. All in all, ground beetles are good for your garden.
These insects are also predators. They feed on harmful pests in your gardens, such as aphids, caterpillars, Colorado potato beetles, and Mexican bean beetles. These beetles are attracted to your garden by blossoms, and you are least likely to find them in some gardens. For this reason, they also act as pollinators.
These insects resemble a mix of a squash bug and a praying mantis. They have a sharp mouth with which they prey on pests and other insects in your garden. These insects and their nymphs are good predators and some of the most useful insects in your garden. However, it would help if you were careful not to mistake them for squash bugs.
These are some of the most useful predatory insects in your garden. They have long legs and which helps them in predating. Unlike horseflies, robber flies are more welcome to the garden as they are harmless to humans unless threatened. You will also be pleased to know that robber flies go after a specific type of garden pests.
This insect looks like a yellow jacket, and it feeds on pollen and nectar.
As a result, they help in pollination, more so where cross-pollination is essential. Additionally, hoverfly larvae are vicious predators feeding harmful pests such as aphids, thrips, beetles, and caterpillars. A hoverfly larva kills insects by sucking the juice from their bodies.
These are small types of wasps whose activity may be invisible. Despite their size, these insects are very useful in your garden. Let us look at the different types of parasitic wasps and their work.
Braconid wasps; are a group of parasitic wasps that lays eggs on the backs of caterpillars and tomato hornworms. Their eggs form white cocoons on the back of the affected insects. Once the larvae hatch, they feed on the host killing it. The larvae also develop into more wasps that continue taking care of these harmful parasites.
Trichogramma wasps; are also other forms of parasitic wasps which work similarly to braconids above. However, they lay eggs on other insects such as grasshoppers, caterpillars, Mexican bean beetles, and squash bugs. Indeed, this type of insect is known to take care of over 200 garden pests.
Big Eyed Bug
This is another useful bug that kills harmful insects in your gardens, such as aphids and caterpillars. It attacks and kills these insects when they least expect and sucking their bodies dry. They are also attracted to cosmos, fennel, mint, marigolds, and goldenrod.
These are insects that you will often spot hovering over flowers in your garden like helicopters. A major advantage of the syrphid fly in your garden is pollination as they feed on flower nectar.
Additionally, they feed on pests such as aphids, caterpillars, thrids, scale, and mealybugs. Their females also lay eggs on the eggs of other insects, ensuring an abundant food supply for their larvae.
Rough stink bug
These awfully smelling insects are beneficial to your plants. They feed on soft-bodied insects, aphids, beetles, beetle larvae, and caterpillars.
These insects lay eggs near water sources. As their eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the young ones of other flying insects. Their adults are also swift predators killing mosquitoes, gnats, and flies.
There are many types of bees, and they all serve a major role in pollination as it sucks nectar from flowers. Bees are aggressive and will bite when threatened.
Adult butterflies are quite useful to your garden as they help in facilitating pollination. A butterfly develops through stages whereby an adult lays eggs that develop into a caterpillar, pupa, a chrysalis, and then a butterfly. The host plant of the insect acts as shelter and food to the developing young one to maturity. Butterflies generally feed on nectar and plant and fruit sap.
These are some of the most useful organisms to your gardens. They are not insects but a different class of organisms that live in the soil. Earthworms help fertilize the soils in the following ways:
- Break down organic matter in the soils, making them more fertile.
- They fertilize the soil with their nutritionally rich droppings
- They increase the amount of air in the soil as they move about. The air is essential for the roots. Additionally, it makes the soils more permeable to water.
How to attract insects to the garden
Insects need the usual basic needs for survival, including food, water, and shelter. Consequently, you can invite insects to your garden by catering to these needs.
Additionally, you can also diversify your garden with flowering plants that attract different beneficial insects. A sustainable food supply will help retain the insects in your garden. With a diversified garden, you ensure an unlimited variety of food.
For instance, you can let tiny blossoms bloom, such as parsley, carrot, and alyssum, attracting certain pollinators and predators during spring.
Planting flowering herbs and allowing them to flower is also another alternative. These include parsley, mint, thyme, lavender, dill, fennel, and coriander. Other flowers that are appealing to good insects include black-eyed Susan, coreopsis, sunflowers, iron flowers, ironweed, goldenrod, and coneflowers.
Another useful solution is through plant companionship as you mix up plants in your garden, plant flowering plants close to vegetables that require protection.
To keep insects in your garden, provide them with a source of water. You can do this by placing a bowl of water insects with water in a shallow dish in your garden. Inside the water, place some stones for the insects to land on.
Reduce the rates of soil disturbance which is likely to affect organisms residing in the soil and their eggs. Such organisms are critical in enhancing soil fertility, and a good example is earthworms.
To attract and retain predatory beetles, create pathways for them to shelter. These can be in the form of mulch and stones. Also, leaving leaf litter on the bed will provide overwintering spots for insects.
You can attract spiders by providing shadowy cover and shelters spots.
To attract earthworms, you need to add manure or compost to your garden.
You can also purchase useful insects from a nectary. Those available for purchase include ladybugs, braconid wasps, or lacewings, which effectively control notorious pests such as aphids. Important to note when buying predatory insects and releasing them to your garden is that the insects you buy are likely to alter the natural ecosystem of your garden.
For this reason, natural methods are more beneficial to gardeners. Also, pesticides will kill all the insects from your garden regardless of whether pests of beneficial. This also equally applies to natural pesticides.
Conclusion on what insects are the most beneficial in your garden
We have provided information on how insects are helpful to your garden, those which are considered useful, and how each helps develop your plants. You are also aware of the bug in the garden and how to attract insects to the garden.
Natural pest control methods are important are more advisable. Whenever you use pesticides, you eliminate both essential and bad bugs. If you can’t attract enough beneficial insects into your garden, you can also purchase some from accredited breeders and suppliers.
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