The Good Bugs That'll Chase Pests From Your Garden

If you have problems with pests destroying your garden, attracting certain bugs to your yard can help get rid of them. Many insects, such as lacewings, ground beetles, and ladybugs, will eat the other bugs harming your plants. For example, the larvae of green lacewings like to eat aphids and caterpillars, and ground beetles, both adults and larvae, will eat a variety of annoying pests, including thrips, slugs, silverfish, and weevils. Ladybugs are commonly used for pest control, as ladybug larvae can consume 40 aphids in an hour. Spiders are also great to have around and will help keep unwanted insects out of your garden.

Depending on where you live, the bugs you'll want helping you will vary. If moths or beetles are bothering your plants, having praying mantids around will prove helpful. It's important that the bugs are native to your area if you're planning to introduce insects you've purchased, but naturally attracting beneficial insects might be a better option.

Attracting beneficial bugs to your garden

The best way to bring these insects to your garden is by growing plants that are good food sources or shelter for them. For example, ladybugs like being near dill, fennel, and marigold, and ground beetles love perennials for housing their larvae. Green lacewings also like dill and fennel, as well as coriander, angelica, and dandelion. Another great bug to have in your garden is the aphid midge, which is also attracted to dill. Aphid midge larvae will eat 65 aphids in a day, and are known to consume dozens of species of aphids.

Besides growing plants that attract beneficial insects, you can provide them with a water source, like a bird bath, to help them stay near your garden. It's also crucial to avoid using pesticides if you want these predators to stick around. While insecticides will kill the bugs eating at your garden, they will also kill insects that are helping.

More bugs that are good for pest control

If you're struggling with an infestation of Japanese beetles, squash bugs, gypsy moths, or cutworms, tachinid flies are there to help. These flies will lay their eggs on top of their chosen host, and their larvae will eat the pest once they hatch. Parasitic wasps, such as trichogramma and brachonid wasps, also kill bad bugs with their eggs. While brachonid wasps deposit their eggs on top of caterpillars, including tomato hornworms, trichogramma wasps will lay their eggs inside the eggs of various pests. This keeps the unwanted insects from hatching, and more wasps will be around to help your garden.

Damsel bugs, which are attracted by fennel, spearmint, and caraway, are wonderful for getting rid of cabbage worms, mites, caterpillars, and other insects, and mealybug destroyers will eat the adult mealybugs as well as their eggs, depending on where they are in their lifecycle. Whatever kind of garden pests you're dealing with, attracting their predators is a great way to naturally protect your plants.