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The Scoop On Beneficial Insects

When you think about insects living amongst your vegetables, herbs, and flowers, you are likely flooded with visions of locusts devouring the leafy lettuce greens, caterpillars going to town on your cabbages, and aphids sapping the life out of your peas. Before you reach for the pest control products, there are numerous beneficial insects that you should consider attracting to your crops first before taking extreme methods to exterminate the destructive bugs.

Understanding The Beneficial Bug

Bees are naturally one of the first beneficial insects that we all think of when discussing helpful bugs. However, while the value of pollination cannot be overlooked, there is also the matter of pest control. From an agricultural perspective, any insect that hinders your ability to grow and produce healthy crops is going to be classified as being a pest. There are a large number of carnivorous insects that can be used as a means of organic pest control because they will see your crop-devouring pests as their next big meal.

So, in short, not only are beneficial bugs an incredible asset towards helping pollinate your plants, but they can help to save you from an infestation that would otherwise put you at risk of having your entire harvest wiped out.

Types Of Beneficial Bugs

When it comes to beneficial insects, you’ll need to think beyond the bee in order to discover some of the unique bugs that could just become your new best gardening tool.

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Here are just a few of some of the insects that you should strive to attract into your growing space:

There are a number of other beneficial insects that can be hugely helpful in managing the invasive and destructive bugs, including damsel bugs, praying mantis, big-eyed bugs, minute pirate bugs, and soldier bugs.

Inviting Beneficial Insects In

There are several methods of encouraging the beneficial insects to call your home their new home. You could include numerous plants that are attractive to them; for example, bees tend to be highly attracted to parsley, sage, broccoli blossoms, and squash blossoms. While other insects might be a bit more efficient at the pollination of your plants, vegetables, fruits, and herbs, it is always a good thing to attract more bees to your garden.

If your land is truly organic and has been kept free of pesticides, then you may find that you already have a really healthy population of beneficial insects. A quick examination of your plants should give you an idea as to what types of bugs are calling your beds home. To continue to encourage your local friendly insect population to thrive, you should avoid using even organic pest control methods, as they rarely discriminate between which types of pests they affect. Diatomaceous earth, for example, is a very effective method of eliminating harmful insects from your garden; however, it can also hurt or kill bees, ladybugs, lacewings, and other beneficial insects. Keep your property a hospitable environment, and the beneficial bugs will keep on coming.

Many organic garden centers sell ladybugs and green lacewing insects to gardeners who are looking to boost the existing population on their property. While lacewings are likely to stick around to see what kinds of meals are available on your plants, you should be aware that ladybugs can be somewhat flighty once released. Many a gardener has looked on in dismay as their newly released ladybugs take off for greener pastures, over the fence and into their neighbor’s garden. There are ladybug houses and other tools that may be effective at helping to encourage at least some of the ladybugs to stick around, however. Those that do stick around are certain to be an effective little carnivorous pest-control squad.

Some other flowers that you can plant around your garden and flower beds to attract beneficial bugs include the following:

As an organic gardener, you are likely a firm believer in allowing nature to do her part in helping your fruits, vegetables, herbs, and decorative flowers to thrive. Let nature do her part in helping to control the pests that are plaguing your plants; you’ll soon find that nature is a lot more adept at handling these pests than any humans are.

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