Insects that Are Beneficial for your Garden

Insects that Are Beneficial for your Garden

While many insects are perfectly happy to munch away on your herb garden, many insects are actually beneficial, and they’ll help to keep your garden healthy and safe. Here’s a quick list of some beneficial insects.

Ladybug: The orange spotted ladybug is a common insect found throughout North America (there are over 400 species found across the continent). Ladybugs typically eat aphids and other smaller, soft-bodied insects that dine on leaves and other plant parts. Ladybugs also love flower nectar and pollen, so they can often help to pollinate certain plants too.

Lacewing: Lacewings may not be as pretty as ladybugs, but they’re just as helpful. Lacewing larva has an enormous appetite, and they love to snack on moth eggs, caterpillars, mites, scales and aphids—all insects that enjoy eating leaves and other plant parts.

Ground Beetles: These big guys are especially helpful. While they usually hide out under plants, logs or rocks during the day, at night they come out to feed on root maggots, snails and slugs.

Spiders: While spiders might scare you, they’re actually extremely beneficial for the average garden. Spiders, as predators, hunt a variety of smaller insects, including many common pest species like aphids and scales. Most garden spiders aren’t poisonous, and ones that are—like black widows—typically won’t be found hanging out in an open garden, basking in the sun. Black widows prefer dark, sheltered areas, such as woodpiles, garages, and basements and underneath rocks or natural clutter.

Many people are often tempted to use pesticides or other chemicals to keep their gardens pest-free. However, by relying on friendly insects—like ladybugs, which you can actually purchase at your local gardening store—you can keep your garden safe without having to use any potentially toxic chemicals.

Sources: http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/meet-beneficial-insects

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