Gardening

Garden Insects – Beneficial Insects Fall into Three Categories

A flourishing garden is the perfect home for garden insects, including the good, the bad and the ugly. If you are new to gardening, you are likely to try to combat the pests using pesticides. However, it is important to know that some insects, no matter how pesky they are, are actually good for your garden.

When it comes to gardening, there are beneficial insects, harmful insects, and insects that are just pests that don’t help or hurt your garden. Managing the insects, instead of just killing them all, will make your garden better. Some insects are necessary to pollinate while others are beneficial in other ways including taking on the task of keeping harmful insects away from the garden.

Beneficial Insects

Beneficial insects fall into three categories – pollinators, predators and insect parasites. Bees and wasps are among the pollinators. Pollination is a process of fertilization that involves the transfer of pollen from the stamen of a plant (the male structure) to the ovule of the plant (the female structure). Pollination can occur naturally through water, wind, pollinating insects and birds, or it can be done by hand. Insects make pollination easier by doing what they naturally do. A well-pollinated garden will have a good yield with improved quality.

Insects that are predators help to keep the annoying and harmful insects out of the garden. They actually eat the harmful insects and their eggs. Ladybugs, also known as lady beetles, are advantageous because they feed on aphids and other soft-bodied insects. They also eat their eggs which keeps them from reproducing. To top it off, they aren’t ugly or pesky.

Ground beetles are also good for the garden because they eat snails and caterpillars that can be bad for the garden. Green lacewings are also effective in controlling aphids, in fact, their larvae have earned to the nickname of “aphid lion”. Mantids are awesome predatory insects because they feed on all types of insects. Predatory mites help to control spider mites which can be detrimental to a garden.

Insect parasites, such as tachinid flies and ichneumonid wasps, are helpful. They can control beetles, caterpillars and other harmful insects.

Harmful Insects

There are several harmful insects that will take interest in the garden. Aphids are most common and they have an appetite for garden vegetables. Grasshoppers are horrible for the garden because they will eat the leaves off of vegetable plants. Leafhoppers suck out the sap from your plants making the leaves the brown. Earwigs, cutworms, flea beetles, potato beetles, slugs, spider mites, and some types of maggots are among the damaging insects.

Keeping harmful insects out of your garden is challenging, but worth concentration. If you let the detrimental insects take free rein in your garden, they can be destructive and leave your garden devastated. Keeping them out will make for a beautiful, productive garden.

Managing Insects

Managing the insects in your garden is possible. It takes an effort to learn about the different insects in your garden. Knowing which ones are beneficial and which ones are not is the first step in managing insects to pollinate and protect the garden.

Using the internet is a good way to look up bugs if you know their name. However, having an insect book that features the pictures of the insects will help you to identify the insects that are naturally in your garden. Beneficial insects can be purchased over the internet or any full-service garden shop.

If you have a particular problem with any harmful insect, you can do research to come up with ideas for eliminating them. Of course, when you look for a solution, insecticides will be recommended. Sometimes that is necessary; however, if there is a beneficial insect that could do the same thing as a pesticide, the insect is a better option.

The use of pesticides and insecticides can be dangerous. It can be harmful to your plants and to beneficial garden insects. They are often toxic to humans and animals. They can also have a long-term effect of the environment.

Using beneficial garden insects is the most natural way to take care of eliminating pest problems. It actually fits right in to the circle of life which consists of prey and predators. By making sure that your garden is the home to the types of good insects that consist of pollinators, predators and insect parasites, you can ensure a proper balance of insects that will promote a healthy, safe and prosperous garden. Having beneficial insects in your garden takes away the burden of maintaining the garden through hand-pollination and running off the harmful insects.

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