According to Mark Roemer Oakland, some insects and bugs can destroy your harvest and carry diseases that may be transmitted to plants or even humans. However, there are also beneficial bugs that eat pests and are good for your plants in numerous ways. Let’s check them out.
- Green lacewings – Adult green lacewings are insects that feed on both nectar and pollen. In exchange, they leave larvae that look like a cross between an alligator and a slug. During their growth period, these larvae chomp down on aphids, caterpillars, and other soft-bodied insects that are considered garden pests.
- Ladybugs – Ladybugs look beautiful, have been talked about in poems and pop culture, and have a beautiful-sounding name. However, don’t let any of that fool you. These bugs are ferocious predators. Before they take their bright red appearance, they are dark and scary-looking larvae that feast on aphids while patrolling your plants. Just one larva can eat as many as 40 aphids in one hour.
- Spiders – A lot of spiders look scary, and many humans swat them out instinctively. However, spiders are highly beneficial since they can get rid of all sorts of pests in the garden. While technically arachnids, wolf spiders, and jumping spiders can be very good at tracking live insects and keeping the pest population low in your garden.
- Hoverflies – Hoverflies are small insects. While you may mistake them for yellow jackets at a glance, they don’t have stingers. The adults are effective pollinators, and the kids are great at pest control. Adult hoverflies feed on nectar and pollen and make sure you have a harvest the next season. On the other hand, their larvae kill all kinds of pests, from aphids and thrips to beetles and caterpillars. They do it in a brutal way as well by sucking out the juice from their prey and dehydrating them.
- Assassin bugs – Aptly named, assassin bugs are ferocious killers that get rid of various types of pests in your garden. They look like a mix between a squash bug and a praying mantis and use their sharp parts at the mouth to chomp away at their victims. At a glance, they may look like squash bugs. Check twice before you squish them.
- Praying mantis – Praying mantis is the natural enemy of grasshoppers and many other insects that terrorize your garden. These strong green insects are ruthless at killing off beetles, flies, and moths that dare sit on your harvest. However, you need to be careful with them since they can also kill off beneficial pollinators like bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.
Mark Roemer Oakland suggests that you don’t try to get rid of all kinds of insects from your garden. While some need to go away, others bring a lot of benefits, from making your soil more fertile to protecting your plants from diseases. If you see one of the above-mentioned insects in your garden, don’t be too quick to get rid of it.