When people think bugs in the garden, they often think bugs do damage. While this is often the case, keep in mind there are good bugs too. Some bugs are essential to keep your garden flourishing.
Introducing or encouraging the good bugs to make their home in your space is beneficial to the health of your flowers, fruits and vegetables. By knowing which insects are good and which are bad, you will have a better understanding of where they fit in. This article focuses on some of the good bugs, which often feed off the bad ones.
One of the most common and easy to identify is the ladybeetle (ladybug). Its red shell with black dots is easily spotted and identified. If you have these in your garden, chances are you already have an undesirable insect living in among your plants. The larvae and the mature beetle feed on harmful insects such as mealy bugs, aphids and spider mites. Inspect your plants and you will most likely see a problem insect; a problem you were most likely unaware of.
Bees and wasps are also beneficial. They are nature’s pollinators and care should be taken to encourage their presence. Honeybees are the fuzzy flyers we all know, and keeping them in your garden will benefit your space. Providing a hive for them will also give you fresh honey and beeswax. Parasitic wasps are also beneficial, as they inject their eggs into host insects. The eggs hatch into larvae, which then feed on the host.
Dragonflies (often referred to as mini-helicopters) are nature’s mosquito control. If you see dragonflies in your garden, chances are there are a lot of mosquito larvae present in your grass and standing water features.
Don’t forget the water in your garden – even bugs need it to survive. Fill a shallow dish with stones, then fill with water. Do not completely submerge the stones or the bugs will drown. Monitor the water level regularly to ensure your guests will stick around.
Remember: if you have good bugs in your garden, the damage done by the bad bugs will be minimal to non-existent. Encourage them to stay by providing shelter, food and water. By encouraging the bugs to make your yard home, you will also soon notice more birds as well. That, however, will be the topic for another post.
Enjoy your garden and all of the advantages the beneficial insects have to offer. Want more about bugs? Check out Matt's latest post Garden Pests.
Matt is the owner of Living Horticulturally On his site he shares his experience and knowledge on gardening and lawn maintenance along with reviews and tips on tools of the trade. He has over 20 years’ experience in all aspects of lawn and garden maintenance. He is currently the Horticulturist at a Private country club in Massachusetts .
What pests, bugs or rodents bother you the most?