When you see bugs in your garden your first instinct might be to try and get rid of them. Hold on though, not all bugs in your garden are bad. In fact, many bugs are beneficial to your garden and can help facilitate the growth of fuller, healthier plants. In this article, we’ll look at some of these beneficial bugs, and also look at how you can encourage them to visit your garden.
What Type Of Bugs Are Beneficial?
In general, there are 3 broad categories of bugs that are beneficial to your garden. They are as follows:
The most well known of beneficial bugs, pollinators help your garden grow by spreading pollen between plants which encourages flower growth. This group of bugs includes bees and butterflies, among many others.
Predators are bugs that feed on other insects in your garden. Predators don’t damage your plant, but they do get rid of other insects which do. This group includes ladybugs and praying manti.
Similar to predators, parasites lay their eggs on other insects, and once the eggs hatch the young eat their host. Like predators, these insects are generally safe for your plants while eating those pests which aren’t. Certain types of wasps fall in this category.
Some bugs will also fulfill multiple of the above categories. Some flies, for example, will both prey on harmful insects while also pollinating at the same time.
As you garden, keep an eye out for the below bugs. They all play a role in keeping your garden healthy, and don’t pose a threat to most plants.
Ladybugs are popular predators of a variety of common garden pests. They are especially fond of aphids, with a single ladybug able to eat dozens of them per day. It’s actually a recommended technique to introduce ladybugs into an aphid infested garden to help deal with the problem.
Bees are crucial pollinators, and are essential to the survival of many plants. In your garden, they can help ensure blooms by pollinating your plants and moving pollen between the different areas of your plants.
Similar to bees, butterflies are also important pollinators. This is essential to the growth of many plants, and helps ensure flowers bloom and edible plants produce harvestable crops.
Stop before you squash that spider, it just might be keeping pests out of your garden. Spiders are aggressive predators, and will prey on a variety of garden pests. They pose no danger to your plants, so keeping them around can reduce pests that do.
Another predator, mati will feed on pretty much any pest that they can. Keeping them around can reduce the amounts of beetles, months, and other bugs that might see your garden as an easy snack.
Hoverflies look like small wasps that lack a stinger, but don’t worry, they pose little threat to humans. What they do pose a threat to though is insect larvae like aphids. They not only feed on larvae, reducing the amount of pests in your garden, but they will also pollinate your plants as they hunt.
Note that this is just a small selection of some of the more common beneficial insects you might come across. There are hundreds more, so it’s always smart to figure out what you have in your garden before trying to get rid of it.
How To Attract Beneficial Bugs
Attracting beneficial bugs is fairly easy, and a healthy garden will naturally do so. A thriving garden provides the food, shelter, and water that all insects are looking for, so taking good care of your garden is a must.
Outside of that, providing an array of different plants is also a good way to encourage different insects to visit. Certain flowers/plants will attract different insects, so diversity will go a long way to encourage new insects to call your garden home.
Keep in mind too, that pesticides are usually not targeted and will kill all the insects in your garden. This includes the beneficial ones. If you want to encourage beneficial insects, put down the pesticides, and try more natural pest control methods.
Beneficial Bugs In Your Garden
Not all bugs are bad, many are actually good for your garden. The above insects are all good to have around, and can protect your plants from those pests which might do it harm. By learning more about the ecosystem that gardens live in, and the animals that coexist with them, we can make better decisions and ultimately grow larger, healthier gardens.
As always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out to us. Feel free to contact us through email here on our site, or message us on social media!