Beneficial Insects in the Lawn and Garden
These insects are worker-bees that actually help you in the garden. Make sure that you do everything possible to keep these insects around. You can encourage beneficial insects by eliminating broad-spectrum (that means, kills everything) insecticides from your lawn care program. Once beneficial insects establish themselves in your lawn or garden, they can mostly take care of the destructive insects. Ladybugs Ladybugs are beetles, and there are hundreds of different species. You can keep ladybugs in your garden, eliminating pests by not spraying insecticides. Aphids are one of their favorite foods. A healthy population of ladybugs can completely eliminate aphids as a problem in your garden. Lacewings The larval form of the lacewing is actually the heavy lifter when it comes to keeping your garden free of pests. The larvae will pretty much stay put in your garden if you are lucky enough to lure them there. The adults do fly away, but will often lay eggs before they fly. They are most effective at controlling soft-bodied insects like mites and aphids. Big-eyed bugs If you don't have a pest that these guys like to eat, they can live on pollen until a pest shows up. They eat mites, aphids, small caterpillars and just about any other garden pest you can think of. Parasitic Wasps There are several species of parasitic wasps. Most of them are uniquely adapted to only attack a specific pest, though. If they end up in your yard, you can feel thankful, but shouldn't go to great lengths trying to get them. They work on pests by laying their eggs inside the host insect. The larva hatches inside the pest and eats it alive from the inside out. Make your garden a friendly place for beneficial insects, and you will have many fewer problems with insect damage on all of your plants.