You have just begun your new garden, and the seedlings have begun to thrive and flourish. This is the time when bugs, pests and other organisms begin to inhabit the new ecosystem that is your garden. Some of them will want to harm your plants and you will want to take those out. But, there are also bugs that are beneficial and are necessary in helping your garden flourish while keeping away pests or diseases that may endanger your plants. Also, they can completely replace the use of pesticides.
Here are some friendly bugs that can help your garden, how they can help, and how to identify them:
Famous for their red trunk and black spots, this lovely bug is the easiest to spot and is one of the most beneficial garden pet you can have. Both adult and larvae ladybugs feed on aphids, mites, and other soft bodied bugs that may be invading your garden. An adult lady beetle can eat up to 50 aphids in one day! Ask your garden center or local gardening store if they are selling some.
Similar to lady beetles, these nocturnal creatures feed on slugs, snails, insect eggs and larvae. They are quite easy to notice as they can grow as big as ¾ inch, can be dark blue/dark brown and have long legs. Invite them to your garden by providing ground covers like logs or stones.
Characterized by their large wings that look wispy and lace-like, this garden bug is a voracious predator that devours aphids, moth eggs, small caterpillars, and scales. When they are not pouncing on garden pests, they do love nectar. Plant a few flowering plants around your garden to attract Lacewings.
There are a number of species of dragonflies around the world. Their distinct four transparent wings, large eyes, and narrow body make them easy to spot. Aside from being very beautiful, dragonflies feed on mosquitoes, aphids and other pests that may be wandering around your garden. A pond, or any small body of water where they can deposit their larvae will surely attract dragonflies in your area.
Probably one of the most important bugs to invite to your garden, they do one of the most important tasks, pollinate many of your plants. These buzzing garden friends are easily identified by their thick balls of yellow fuzzy pollen near their heads and their gold and black stripes. Encourage wild honey bees to visit your garden by growing flowering plants. Not only will you be getting a garden pollinator, you will also be helping the dwindling population of these busy workers grow their numbers
Learning which bugs can help your garden and how to introduce them to your crops are a healthier alternative to using pesticide that may harm you and your family in the long run. Check out your local gardening shop, odds are they have their own nursery for these helpful bugs or will have the resources needed to attract them to your garden.