Aphids can be a gardener’s nightmare; and no one wants annoying gnats and mosquitoes in their yard. Rather than using sprays or pesticides, you can attract natural predators and beneficial bugs to keep them away. We may often think that all bugs are bad bugs, but this is not true. The follow is a list of the “good guys” who we want to encourage to be in our garden.
Bees are one of the most beneficial bugs for a garden. Bees help pollinate flowers and fight off competing pests. Daisies, Zinnias, and Asters can help attract a variety of different species of bees. Yellow Jackets and hornets may seem frightening to have in your garden, but these insects are pest predators. They often fly through dense bushes and grasses to capture and carry off pests like flies, caterpillars, and larvae of other insects. As long as you don’t attack them, they won’t attack you.
Dragonflies zip around your garden eating up gnats, mosquitoes, and midges. They are great to have around in a well used backyard. Dragonflies need water to house their young and will fly near water when attracting mates. Dragonflies are often noted as fun to watch and are a great addition to a backyard. Small ponds built to house and attract dragonflies can be a great sight to behold during mating; when colorful groups of the bugs dance over the water to attract a mate. Black-eyed Susan and Rudbeckia are flowers that can attract dragonflies.
Ladybugs do not fly at night so that is the time to introduce them to your garden. The Ladybug is the most famous of the beneficial insects. Its bright red color and black spots make it easily recognizable in the garden. The Ladybug searches for food all day long and is considered one of the most active predators. Each Ladybug is capable of consuming up to 50 aphids per day, but will also eat a wide variety of other insects and larvae including scales, mealybugs, leafhoppers, mites and other soft bodied insects and their eggs.
The Praying Mantis is a fierce garden protector. The Mantis moves freely through your plant beds and will eat any insect it can get its hands on. They come as an egg sack which is purchased in spring and placed directly into the garden. One egg sack will produce about 300 Mantis babies. The Mantis babies are hatched with a ravishing hunger and will immediately start looking for their first meal.
Bugs We Sell
Here at the Nursery, we do stock a selection of hungry heros for your garden. Kept in a cool place in anticipation of a new garden to call their home are Praying Mantis eggs and Ladybug clans. The Lady Beetles, also called Ladybugs, are often considered good luck to have in a garden; and part of this reason is their pest-controlling diet. Herb plants like dill, cilantro, and fennel attract ladybugs.
Our landscaping professionals would love to help create the perfect landscape to attract beneficial insects to your home and to provide a suitable habitat for them. Contact us or stop into the nursery with any questions.