Most gardeners aim to detract bugs in the garden and protect their crops from pesky invaders like aphids and caterpillars. But, little did we know that not all insects bring harm to our plants; there are beneficial insects!
Insects such as ground beetles, hoverflies and even spiders possess qualities that favour plants and other wildlife.
In order to reap their benefits, however, it is crucial to know which ones to welcome and which ones to shun. So, our garden experts have created a list for just that!
1. Ladybirds/Lady Bugs
Symbolising good luck among many, ladybugs’ bright yellow eggs underneath leaves or stems are a worthy catch. It only takes them around three weeks to hatch.
They are one of the gardeners’ best friends as these insects can feed up to 50 different pests in just one day.
Known as one of the most important and beneficial insects in the world, bumblebees pollinate a third of all foods that humans consume. A single colony can hold an average of up to 50,000 bees, and they can pollinate around 4000 square metres of fruit crops.
Sadly, the global bee population is declining at an alarming rate. It’s now safe to say that humans need to protect these insects in every way possible. So, make sure to know which pollinator plants to grow in your garden for these garden critters!
Though a lot of people may be afraid of spiders, they are beneficial to the garden. They play an important role in the ecosystem by helping control mosquitoes, flies, beetles, moths, wasps and other insects.
So if you are not pleased to have these arachnids inside your home, you might as well keep them outside where they truly belong.
4. Ground Beetles
With most of them growing only less than an inch and a half long, ground beetles come in over 2,500 different species. They’re known to feed on pretty much anything that moves, including Cabbage Worms, Asparagus Beetles, Corn Earworms, Potato Beetles, and small slugs.
Unfortunately, ground beetles eat earthworms too, but they benefit the garden in more ways than one.
People tend to confuse hoverflies with wasps for their distinctive yellow and black markings. Their adults feed on nectars while going around pollinating flowers while females have the tendency to lay eggs next to aphid colonies.
Also known as drone flies or flower flies, these insects take merely 2-3 days to hatch in good and warm weather. They can also wipe out 70-80% of the entire aphid colony within just a few days.
6. Green Lacewings
Talking about non-fussy eaters, green lacewings prey on almost every garden pest too. The list includes whitefly, mealybugs, baby caterpillars, mites, and aphids. In fact, the small lacewing larvae are insatiable predators and can kill over 200 pests in just a week.
7. Spined Soldier Bug
To keep soldier bugs in the garden, you should plant permanent beds of perennials which are great in providing them shelter. They feed on hairless caterpillars and beetle larvae and are mostly distinguished from the peskier stink bug through their pointed “shoulders”.