Gardening is a relaxing and beneficial hobby to have, but sometimes all the hard work you have put in seems like a waste of time. Especially when your beautiful greens turn from
Fortunately, nature provides us with great remedies for such issues. Especially if you are trying to maintain an organic garden without the use of commercial pesticides. Beneficial garden insects may seem to be a nuisance, or even creepy, but before you grab the shovel, it will benefit you greatly to let them stay. Below is a short list of your green thumbs’ best friends.
Hunting and parasitoid wasps: There are numerous varieties and classification within the wasp family. These garden gems aren’t the bad kind, and in fact do a lot of good for your garden by combating infestation of pests. Their strategy is to inject their eggs directly into the pests’ body and essentially they die, when the eggs hatch and eat their way out of the hosts body.
Tachinid Flies : These small and inconspicuous critters look resemble the common house fly, but are more than worthy of sharing our gardens. They are very important enemies of cabbage loopers, armyworms, tent caterpillars, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, gypsy moths , sawflies and numerous others.
Syrphid flies/Hover flies: These nectar and pollen loving flies also enjoy soft bodied insects such as aphids, thrips, caterpillars and scales. Adult hover flies are great pollinators that hang around aphid colonies, where they lay their eggs. The larvae go in tight places where other critters can’t fit in. While the other beneficial insects are still in slumber, these puppies are already up in the early spring. They help produce high yields in berries (raspberry and strawberry) that they pollinate. And they are known to and they can fly backwards, an ability few insects possess.
Green and brown lacewings are a must have for any pest control program. While the adults on feed on nectar, honeydew aphids and pollen, their larvae are great predators with a voracious appetites toward spider mites, moth eggs, white-fly, beetle larvae, mealybugs, aphids as well as caterpillars and thrips. Not only are they great generalists and magnificent pollinators, Lacewings are a wonderful and cost effective addition to any garden.
5. Ground beetles: Your first reaction upon seeing these large, long-legged, brown or shiny blue-black critters, might be to crush it. Letting them roam around is a better idea, especially since they are nocturnal and therefore help keep those night time pests in check. They are often found beneath mulch, under rocks and logs,around compost piles and in areas around perennial plants. Some of them are known to create tunnels for ambushing and trapping their prey:snails, cutworms, potato beetle larva slugs and over 50 other vermin.They are great partners to have in your garden.