A Few Good Bugs

What are beneficial insects? You will always find several kinds of bugs in the garden and not all are bad bugs. In fact, some are beneficial bugs worth encouraging. A beneficial insect helps to keep check of the bad insects, meaning less intervention by the gardener.

dragon-fly-sensible-gardening.jpg
Dragon Fly / Sensible Gardening and Living

Dragonflies are beautiful creatures and fascinating to watch. Usually found skimming over the water in a pond, they help keep the water clean by eating mosquitoes, midges and gnats.

Lacewing larvae, both green and brown, make a meal of aphids, thrips, small caterpillars and insect eggs.

Ladybugs, which we all adore, eat aphids. The larvae stage eats more aphids than the adults. The small black lady beetles feed on spider mites and whiteflies.

Fireflies, lucky is he who gets to see them flying around at night. They eat the larvae of many pest insects, slugs and snails. Usually found in tall grasses or meadows.

Wasps, although avoided by most of us, eat other insects as well as their larvae. They feed caterpillars to their babies in the summer.

Hover Flies look like wasps but they do not sting. They lay their eggs in aphid colonies so the larvae can eat the aphids, as well as mealy bugs and scale.

Tachinid Flies look like ordinary houseflies. They lay their eggs on cutworms, beetle larvae, caterpillars and stinkbugs.  The larvae parasitize the hosts.

Ground beetles feed at night on cut worms, snails and slug eggs.

bee-organized-clutter.jpg
Butterfly and Honey Bee on White Echinacea

By growing organically you will end up with a good population of beneficial garden insects. Allowing them to do what comes naturally means you should have less problems with the insects that give you grief.

One Comment