I don’t think that I would be going ‘out on a limb’ to say that most of us REALLY don’t like bugs! In fact, in general we do everything that we can to deter those creepy crawlers from entering our homes and living spaces.
However, when it comes to your garden there is a variety of insects and other bugs that should be welcome guests. In many ways these bugs are like mother’s natures little gardeners, keeping plants healthy, blooming, and strong. Another thing that these helpful little crawlers do is keep away the harmful pests that want to eat, and ultimately destroy, your growing crops. Here are just a few of the helpful bugs that you should love to see in your gardens:
Ladybugs – besides the fact that little kids LOVE ladybugs, these fun little bugs are happy to dine on aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs. Scientists estimate that one single ladybugs can eat upwards of 5000 aphids over a lifetime! You can buy ‘packs’ of ladybugs to release in your garden, or simply plant some flowers amongst your vegetables and the ladybugs will naturally be attracted to your garden.
Dragonflies – these flying bugs are a great way to naturally control mosquito populations without harsh chemicals and pesticides. Dragonflies are attracted to water features in your landscapes and marshy areas. Fun fact – Dragonflies are super-fast fliers, moving at approximately 30-35 miles per hour.
Bees – while bees are not natural predators that will help reduce harmful populations, they do assist in keeping flower plants vibrant and healthy by providing the vehicle for cross pollination to occur.
Praying Mantis – if grasshoppers, flies, or moths are a problem in your garden then considers promoting the praying mantis population! You can purchase these, just like lady bugs, to transplant to your home landscapes and gardens. However, while these helpers to control pesky populations, they will also eat many beneficial bugs as well so do be too heavy handed with them.
Ground Beetles – These predators have a huge appetite for slugs, maggots, and other like insects. It is estimated that just one beetle larvae can eat up to 4 dozen caterpillars!
With a few simple tips and tricks, and a little patience for those crawling insects and bugs, your gardens and landscapes can be beautiful and productive throughout the year.