For those of us who like our gardens to be teeming with life, Im sure that you would rather have it free of creepy insects and instead full of furry and cute creatures such as bunnies or squirrels.
In real life, however, things dont work like that. Animals such as squirrels and rabbits can be massive pests that cause a lot of damage to your garden while certain insects are incredibly handy and useful to have around. This is true whether you have a traditional ground-level garden or a raised-bed garden.
Putting out these beneficial insects is an important part of an organic gardening program. If you have been following the news lately you know that chemical pesticides have been killing off our pollinating bees.
Organic Pest Control with Beneficial Insects
The Aphid Midge.
Aphids at work on a leaf
Aphids are, without a doubt, the biggest problem for a garden. They will destroy any kind of plant they find.
That is why the aphid midge is useful: the larvae of this little fly feeds exclusively on aphids.
It will also consume around 60 different kinds of species of aphids so its not picky. It is a great addition to your garden and you can attract it with pollinating plants.
Beneficial nematodes control garden pests
These are non-segmented, microscopic roundworms. They kill the larvae of sod webworms, cutworms, maggots, various types of ants and many more. If you own pets, the good news is that they also control fleas and ticks. They are applied by spraying them on your lawn. Learn more about beneficial nematodes.
A colorful ladybug keeping a healthy veggie garden
They arent very pretty to look at. Thats the problem with aphid midges.
This is not the case with the ladybug which is a beautiful red with black polka dots. Despite its name, the ladybug is the worst enemy of aphids.
It eats them when it is fully grown, it eats them as larva. Moreover, it also consumes other harmful creatures such as scale insects and spider mites.
The Praying Mantis
A praying mantis may look odd but is quite effective killing insects
Like other beneficial insects, the mantis feeds on aphids and mites.
A praying mantis will eat just about any insect it can get its claws on. A real all-purpose hero in your veggie garden.
This includes other problematic species such as moths, houseflies and mosquitoes. That is the truth.
Are these beneficial insects naturally occurring in your garden? If not, search out a full-service nursery in your area; they usually stock them in the spring. The fall and winter are the perfect times to ask the nurseryman to order them for you.
Consider establishing these creepy insects to help your garden and increase your harvest. Keep it organic and avoid pesticides! If you have any tips about other beneficial insects, please share them with our readers in the comment section below.
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