Fighting Bugs with…bugs?
There is almost nothing more defeating then watching your garden (and all your hard work!) go to waste because of destructive garden bugs. I have literally seen healthy crops of lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries and almost any plant, be destroyed within a few days from destructive garden pests. Luckily, there are many beneficial bugs that can be your first line of defense!
All gardens are full of bugs, as gardens are a bugs home of course. However, not all bugs are pests to your garden. In fact, there are a lot of beneficial bugs that can be lurking in your garden. It is important as a gardener to be able to identify which bugs are beneficial and which ones are not, so that you can determine if you want to keep them around or not. Ensuring that the beneficial bugs stick around in your garden means that you will not need to turn to nasty
chemicals as pesticides, as the beneficial bugs will be able to do that job for you.
The Lady Beetle (Lady Bug)
One of the most beneficial bugs that you can have in your garden is the lady beetle. Not only is the lady beetle a beautiful site to see, it is also great at protecting your garden from more damaging pests and insects. The adult lady beetle enjoys eating aphids, mites, and mealybugs, which will help keep your garden free of these bugs. Even the lady beetles’ larvae help to keep your garden bug free as they are also just as hungry as the adult lady beetles. In order to attract lady beetles to your garden you should plant fennel, dill, yarrow, coreopsis, and angelica.
The Aphid Midge
Another very beneficial garden bug for your garden is aphid midge. It is without a doubt that aphids will at one point or another try to colonize your garden. Enter, the aphid midge. The larvae of aphid midge are known to feed on over 60 species of aphids. They are able to do this by paralyzing the aphids with their toxic saliva, then they bite a hole in the thorax and suck out the body contents (ah yes, nature). Pollinating plants and flowers will attract aphid midges to you garden.
Damselflies are also great garden companions. These tiny bugs tend to feed on aphids, leafhoppers, and thrips. The damsel bug is great at keeping these pests out of your garden. Attracting these bugs to your garden is a bit more difficult than other beneficial bugs though, as you need to catch them from another garden in order to get them into yours. The best place to find them is in an alfalfa field. You will need to use a sweep net in order to catch them and then release them into your garden.
Some other beneficial garden bugs to keep your eye out for are braconid wasps, ground beetles, lacewings, minute pirate bugs, soldier beetles, tachinid flies, and the spined soldier bug. These are some of the most common and beneficial bugs that you can have in your garden. Keeping these guys around will ensure your garden stays relatively pest-free.
There are so many beneficial bugs for your garden, the list goes on and on. The above mentioned bugs are only some of the most beneficial bugs for your garden, and the most well-known. If you are having difficulty with unwanted pests in your garden, then try to encourage these bugs to make your garden their home and find out for yourself just how beneficial these bugs are for the health of your garden.
Author: Brennan Young
Thank you for stopping by! I started The-Urban-Farmer.com to share my love for creative gardening, healthy living, and home DIY’s. If you enjoy the content on this site, I encourage you to follow The-Urban-farmer.com via social media (below). I’d also love to hear from you so feel free to contact me!