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Yes! There are insects that we are happy to have in our garden! These little bug-friends are here to help us combat the dreaded pests that destroy our beautiful plant babies.
Before we get into our list, it is important to consider why exactly you should use this method of pest control instead of grabbing the insecticide at the first sign of an aphid:
Remember, filling your garden with beneficial insects means that any chemical pesticide you use will harm them along with the bugs you are trying to eradicate. It is a good idea to avoid chemicals for the health and wellbeing of your family and pets as well.
Not only are ladybugs harmless, colorful and oh-so-adorable, they are also defenders of the garden. In fact, ladybugs are probably the most well-known insect that everyone wants in their yard. This is due to their serious ability to put away the nasty critters that destroy your plants. A single ladybug Is known to be able to eat over fifty aphids every day which adds up to about five thousand in their lifetime!!
They also have an appetite for mites, mealy worms, leafhoppers, and mites. As an added bonus, you don’t have to worry about ladybug larvae eating your plants or the little bugs being eaten by predators as they secrete an odor that other insects don’t like.
How to attract them: Plant dill, fennel, cilantro and yarrow in your garden to lure in orange, red, and yellow ladybugs.
2. Praying Mantis
Though they can often seem intimidating prowling around the yard, the praying mantis is actually a wonderful creature to have around and will help you get rid of caterpillars, moths, beetles, crickets, and more.
How to attract them: They love tall grass but are also attracted to shrubs, dill, and marigolds.
3. Green Lacewings
Lacewings are not only a beautiful insect to watch flit around your backyard, but they are also extremely practical and eat a number of nasty pests in their larvae stage including aphids, whiteflies, leafhoppers, and mealybugs.
How to attract them: Plant coriander, angelica, or dill.
4. Ground Beetle
Ground beetles enjoy snacking on slugs, snails, cutworms, cabbage maggots, caterpillars and other bugs that spend time crawling on the ground. They are incredibly voracious as well. One ground beetle larvae will eat up to fifty caterpillars with ease.
How to attract them: Start a compost pile (if you don’t have one already) and plant lots of perennials. Ground beetles place their larvae into the ground at the end of the warm season and as they hatch, they clear the soil of bad bugs before emerging in the spring. They also aid in compost deterioration and contribute much-needed organic material to your pile.
Though this one should be obvious, bees are essential for the pollination of any garden. If you grow any type of fruit or vegetable or pollinating flowers, you will want to make your yard is a happy home for the bees.
How to attract them: Plant perennials, colorful annuals, and lots of fruits and veggies. Bees will come wherever there is nectar to be had.
The earthworm is one of nature's top "soil scientists." It’s responsible for a lot of the things that help make our soil good enough to grow healthy plants and provide us food.
These worms help to increase the amount of air and water that gets into the soil. They break down organic matter, like leaves and grass into things that plants can use. When they eat, they leave behind castings that are a valuable type of fertiliser too.
How to attract them: Adding a little organic matter, or worm food, to your soil can attract earthworms to your garden and encourage them to mate. Cornmeal is an affordable way to feed worms and get them to call your garden home.
This is not an exhaustive list and there a lot of articles out there with a lot more insects that are useful to our little garden. So remember, try not to use pesticide/ insecticide. You may be killing a beneficial insect out there!
Oh and one last thing.. the number of bees are declining fast & furious – they are pollinators and help bring our earth to life. Do take a look here to see how you can help take action on saving our bees.