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5 Beneficial Insects That Can Keep Pests Out Of Your Garden

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Your garden can attract a number of bugs and insects, both harmful and beneficial. One of the best methods of controlling unwanted pests in your garden is to invite beneficial insects.

For instance, you can consider planting flowers with pollen and nectar since these plants can provide protection and food for beneficial insects. In addition, you will be promoting organic gardening and improve the diversity of your yard.

Here are a few of the most common beneficial insects and bugs you want to invite to your garden…

Lady Bugs

These bugs will not only make your garden more attractive, but they also keep unwanted pests away. There are over 400 species of lady beetles in North America, and among them are the round orange-spotted lady bugs. These bugs commonly feed on:

  • Aphids
  • Mealybugs
  • Mites
  • Whiteflies

To attract lady bugs into your garden, you need to have the following plant varieties: basket of gold, golden marguerite, dandelion, coriander, butterfly weed, and marigold.

Nematodes

These are microscopic, worm-like creatures that are very effective against pests. Since they can work on harmful insects and bugs, they are considered as natural insecticides. They are the natural enemies of:

  • Ants
  • Different species of beetles, such as cucumber, scarab, and so on
  • Fleas
  • Insect larvae, including moths, fleas, fungus gnat, etc
  • Different varieties of maggots

The eggs of nematodes are microscopic. The eggs are mixed with water and applied to the soil. This is where they will hatch and start feeding on pests. You can introduce beneficial nematodes to your garden by purchasing the first batch. After doing so, you can encourage their growth through compost and mulch.

Hover-Flies

These bugs look like bees due to the stripes found on their abdomen. The larvae are usually grayish or greenish in color. They usually feed on aphids. To invite these bugs into your garden, you can plant flowers, such as goldenrod, yarrow, and black-eyed susans. Hover-flies are not only natural pest repellent, but they also help pollinate raspberries and strawberries, which encourages the growth of more fruits.

Praying Mantis

These insects can be both beneficial and harmful since they feed on various insects and bugs, including the beneficial insects. Praying mantis is effective against:

  • Spiders
  • Moths
  • Lizards, mice, and frogs

Although it is challenging to attract praying mantis into your garden, you can try planting the following plants: raspberry, hazel shrubs, and cosmos. It is also advisable to use compost and mulch.

Fly Parasites

These insects are also known as small parasitic wasps. Many people might be alarmed at the thought of inviting wasps into your garden; however, these insects do not bother humans and animals. They feed on flies, and they even lay their eggs inside the pest. Once the eggs hatch, the fly parasite larvae will feed on the insect. To attract parasitic wasps, you need to have parsley, golden marguerite, tansy, and thyme in your garden.

Create A Home For Your Beneficial Insects And Bugs

You can create an insectary in your garden. This is an area where you plant flowers that attract and harbor beneficial insects. The beneficial bugs will prey on unwanted pests. As a result, you will enjoy a pest-free garden without the need to use chemical pesticides.

The positive effects of the plants can help in deterring pests and in attracting natural insecticides to your garden. In addition, you will be providing food, shelter, and protection for your beneficial insects and bugs. It is vital to use an insectary as a vital element of your garden.

Remember though that the results will not always be instant, but it can greatly benefit your garden. This is because as the flowers and plants mature, the population of your beneficial insects and bugs will also increase; thus, the need for chemical pesticides will be reduced. As an end result, your garden will become more organic and diversified.

lilelements.”Lady bug 1″. January 27, 2009. Online Image. Flickr. March 16, 2013

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