Insects can feel like the nemeses of our gardens. It can be absolutely frustrating when pests like flea beetles and white moths devour our hard-grown greens. But believe it or not, not all insects are there to pester and “bug” your garden. Some bugs are very beneficial in helping you attain a flourishing harvest. Here are five useful insects you definitely want in your garden.
1.Earthworms. If you are a gardener, these are your best friends. Almost all soil contains earthworms -- the more earthworms, the better the soil. This is because earthworms produce an excrement known as castings, which helps enhance as well as enrich the soil. On top of that, they help water reach the roots of plants by creating small tunnels throughout the soil. Tip: If you want to increase the amount of earthworms in your garden, just add more organic matter in your soil, such as leaves, stems, and roots.
2.Ladybugs. These insects are more than just cute. They are super aggressive when it comes to eating up other bugs that are harmful for your garden. Ladybugs and their larvae are a great, natural, non-chemical way to control bothersome aphids, infected beetles, and other garden pests. These beneficial insects are attracted to plants such as angelica, cosmos, yarrow, marigold, and raspberry canes.
3.Beneficial Nematodes. These microscopic worms are another effective, natural, non-chemical way to control pests in your garden and soil. Nematodes are excellent for controlling grubs of Japanese beetles, masked chafer beetles, cutworms, corn earworms, cabbage root maggots, weevils, wireworms, armyworms, flea larvae and more. They occur naturally within the soil, and come in different kinds of varieties.
4.Trichogrammas Wasps. These beneficial wasps are parasitic but completely harmless to humans and animals. They lay their eggs within the eggs of garden pests such as cutworms, cabbage loopers, and tomato hornworms. They rid gardens of worms and caterpillars known to attack corn, avocados, almonds, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage and other crops. If you want to attract them, plant sun hemp, daisies, chamomile, sage, basil, lavender, peppermint and catnip in your yard, garden, orchard or truck patch. The red, black, and yellow wasps are naturally drawn to these plants.
5.Green Lacewings. Lacewings and their larvae eat harmful garden insects such as thrips, mealybugs, scale, moth eggs, smaller caterpillars, mites, and aphids. These pretty green and brown bugs are great because they work well alongside other beneficial insects, while helping control the non-beneficial insects in your garden. The best way to attract green lacewings is by planting fern-leaf yarrow, dill, angelica, golden marguerite, four-wing saltbush, purple poppy mallow, caraway, coriander, cosmos white sensation, Queen Anne’s lace, fennel, and prairie sunflowers.
How hopeful to know there are actually beneficial insects helping in the garden instead of harming it!