Good Insects for Your Garden

There's nothing more frustrating than discovering damaged crops or plants in your garden because of insects. Though the common reaction to this is to shoo bugs away, you may want to refrain from doing this since insects can be quite valuable in maintaining a healthy garden.

So the next time you tend to your flowers and vegetables, be on the lookout and welcome these good insects for your garden.

Ladybugs

Not only are they cute, this spotted insect will feed on unwanted pests, like cutworms and mealy bugs that lurk around your garden. After several days of feeding, the ladybug will lay eggs that will hatch into larvae which will begin feeding on these soft-bodied pests and mites. To attract ladybugs, plant an umbrella shaped flower, like dill or yarrow, among your perennials.

Ground Beetles

This nocturnal insect is a hunter of snails, slugs, maggots, and many more pests that like to call your soil home. These beetles live in the soil, around compost piles or perennial plants, and form tunnels that they use to trap and kill their prey. Attract ground beetles by keeping perennial plants well mulched and arranging flat stones around the area for them to rest under.

Tachinid Flies

Resembling a house fly, this small insect kills insects like caterpillars without disturbing humans. Depending on the species, the tachinid fly has two ways of killing: the fly can lay eggs, which a pest will then eat and eventually die; or the fly will insert eggs right into the body of a pest, killing it as it develops and grows.

Bumblebees

The fuzzy, black and yellow striped insect is vital in the garden, as they pollinate a wide range of plants including many species of flowers and crops. Attract bumblebees to your garden by keeping the area wet and muddy, with piles of dry grass and sticks they can use for nesting. Native plants, colorful wildflowers and single-blossomed flowers are especially inviting to bumblebees.

Hunting Wasps

These miniature, barely visible wasps are perfect for critter control. The hunting wasp attacks the eggs of other insects - mostly various types of caterpillars - minimizing their volume in your garden. By growing pollen and nectar-rich plants, you can lure these wasps into the garden and let them get to work.