Insects in the Garden: Why They Shouldn’t Bug You


It can be frustrating to work hard all season on your garden, just find leaves and produce eaten away by insects and animals. This experience leads many people on a rampage to evict every critter they see near their plants. This can cause even more damage to the plants, however. Some insects are actually beneficial to the garden. They can even help ward off the invasive ones. There is an entire insect food chain that can work to leave your garden free of most pests. Before you start a war on insects in your garden, take a look at the ones that need to stay.

Lady Bugs

Lady bugs are also known as lady beetles. These insects are often favorites of kids, as they seem to appear in a myriad of illustrated children’s books. Most of us are hesitant to take a shoe to this variety of bug, as they are aesthetically pleasing. They can often be seen just sitting on leaves or flower petals. They help your garden by eating insects that cause damage. These include mites, mealybugs, and aphids. Larvae of the lady beetle also damages harmful pests. If you don’t see these little ladies in the garden already, you can plant certain things to attract them. They should come running, or flying, when they sense fennel, yarrow, and dill.

Tachinid Flies

No one wants to have to brush flies off of their body every time they go outside. While they may land on you occasionally, humans are not the main interest of tachinid flies. They would rather harass another pest in your garden. Caterpillars don’t stand a chance when one of these flies shows up. The larvae they leave behind burrows into caterpillars, leading them to an early demise. If you don’t mind letting nature take its course, there are a few things you can plant to help attract them to the garden. Flies enjoy parsley, dill, and sweet clover. Any combination of herbs, however, should accomplish this task.

Soldier Beetles

Soldier beetles are small and cause little disruption to life in the garden. They don’t bother humans, other than the occasional fly by. They are unable to sting or bite. They offer pollination of your plants by moving quickly from one flower to another. All of this jumping around works up an appetite. You can expect them to feed on nuisances like caterpillars and aphids. They may take their snacking a little too far, however, and eat some of the insects you need. If you want to invite them to dinner, plant hydrangeas, catnip, and goldenrod.

Minute Pirate Bugs

This is another insect that doesn’t differentiate between the troublesome and beneficial bugs. They are all delicious to him. Too many of these might lower the amount of insects you want to keep. If you want to see what happens, however, plant daisies, yarrow, and alfalfa. These tiny, fast insects may barely be noticed.

Beneficial Nematode

While you are busy with concern over leaves and flowers, there are other attacks going on under the ground. Insects can also penetrate the soil that supports your plants. You many not notice these until the plant begins to look unhealthy. These are sold by garden specialists that promote natural pest control. They are not exactly insects, but they eat things that you don’t want in your soil. They are a parasite that looks like a worm. Once these get to work in the soil, you can expect there to be a decline of over 200 different invaders. They don’t sit back and wait for a meal, either. Beneficial nematodes are known to take action by hunting for gnats, fungus, and fleas.

Nature offers some excellent pest control for your garden. You have to make peace with the fact, however, that this comes in the form of other pests. Once you learn what to look out for, you can better manage your green space. Leave some areas in your garden free for planting items that attract beneficial insects. Once the right predators begin to hang out in your flower beds, many other pests should lower in numbers. This ensures that you are able to continue your gardening experience with much healthy plants.


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