Beneficial Insects for Your Garden (9 Good Garden Bugs)
There are beneficial garden insects as well as harmful insects. A thriving garden is an ecosystem of its own. When growing food outdoors you have no choice but to deal with insects in the garden.
The good news is that not all insects are harmful to your garden and keeping a balance of beneficial insects can help protect your garden from the devastation of harmful garden insects that are damaging to your plants.
These helpful insects are the ones you want in your garden to help it grow and thrive.
When people think of insects in the garden, they usually think about all of the insects that can eat away at their garden, destroying tender young leaves and eating away at the produce they worked so hard to grow.
The truth is that insects are great for your garden when you invite the right ones to your garden.
Beneficial insects perform tasks in your garden such as pollination, variation, and pest control. Without beneficial insects in your garden, you will lack the balanced ecosystem that helps to keep your garden growing and thriving.
Inviting these good garden bugs in will help to keep the balance so your garden can grow with less work and stress for you.
9 Beneficial Garden Insects You Want to Have in Your Garden
Bees are by far the most wanted beneficial garden insect you want in your garden. Bees are endangered around the world and essential to the pollination of food. Without bees the production of food would decline.
Not only do you want to invite these insects to your garden, but you also want to make sure that your garden will not cause harm to them.
Take the time to research when buying plants at the store. A local nursery is a much better option because plants that are transferred from one state to another are commonly treated with chemicals.
Make your garden bee-friendly by offering a bee house to shelter beds that do not live in colonies. These solitary bees are often overlooked and lack of safe shelter puts them in danger.
Plant a large number of flowers if possible. Adding flowering herbs and plants to your garden or placing a patch of native wildflowers nearby is a great way to provide food for bees and do your part to assist in their declining population.
Butterflies are a popular insect that many people want to invite into their garden. Many gardeners will plant flowers that naturally attract butterflies like coneflower and other flowering herbs to attract butterflies for their beauty and to encourage pollination.
A great way to help attract butterflies to your garden is to plant milkweed nearby. Milkweed is a great way to help monarch butterflies that are endangered. Other types of butterflies will enjoy the flowers as well.
Providing a safe shallow water source for butterflies is a great way to encourage them to hang around in your flower beds and to work their way over to your vegetables to pollinate them as well.
Lacewings are one of the most often misunderstood beneficial insects in the garden. This is because most people do not even know what they are let alone how they benefit your garden.
Despite being lesser known, lacewings are a great addition to your garden because their larvae eat small soft insects like aphids.
Attracting lacewings to your garden is easy to do. Plant small clustered flowers like those found on dill and carrots.
A bug house makes a great addition to your garden to help attract many insects that are good for your garden by providing them with shelter.
Ladybugs are a popular addition to gardens. Ladybugs are great for your garden because they eat aphids, a common pest in the garden that can be difficult to detect until the infestation is heavy.
Many people even buy live ladybugs to release in their gardens.
There are several great ways to attract ladybugs to your garden. Bug houses are great for making space to protect them in your garden. Ladybugs love flowering plants and will happily spend time in a garden with plenty of flowering herbs.
#5. Parasitic Wasps
Parasitic wasps are a great addition to your garden. Many people are afraid of wasps but these are a great help to the garden. They will lay their eggs inside the body of hornworms and other larger pests. This kills off the pests while producing more beneficial wasps to help keep them at bay.
You can attract parasitic wasps to your garden with the same compound flowers that attract ladybugs and lacewings to your garden including dill and Queen Anne’s lace. Bug houses are a great way to provide them with shelter.
#6. Praying Mantis
Praying Mantis is a great addition to your garden because they tend to eat just about any insects. This can of course be a problem if they are overpopulated and the praying mantis eats your other beneficial bugs, so you will want to be careful of this.
These like ladybugs can be purchased in egg form and placed in your garden to hatch where they will work to keep pests at bay.
Most people are not too happy to see spiders, but when it comes to the garden, spiders can be an amazing asset to help catch unwanted insects. Spider webs are a great defense for insects that may be moving into your garden that you do not want.
If you find a spider in your garden let it be or move it to a safer location though they do tend to set up webs where they can get the most food.
#8. Soldier Beetles
If you have destructive beetles, you want to bring soldier beetles into your garden. Soldier beetles will eat Mexican bean beetles, Colorado bean Beatles as well as aphids and caterpillars. They are attracted to small bunching flowers like Queen Anne’s lace, dill, and yarrow.
Earthworms while not officially insects to most people fall in this category. Many people find earthworms gross or are disturbed to find them in their garden.
Earthworms are a great addition to your garden because they compost down organic matter while digging tunnels in the soil to make it easier for your plant’s roots to spread.
Final Thoughts on Beneficial Garden Bugs You Want in Your Garden
Not all insects are harmful to your plants. In fact, just like there are harmful insects, there are also beneficial garden insects. And you need these beneficial insects in your garden to balance the ecosystem.
These good garden bugs not only help to keep harmful insects at bay, but they also help with pollination. Some of the insects that are beneficial to your garden include bees, butterflies, ladybugs, lacewings praying mantis, soldier beetles, spiders and parasitic wasps.