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Using Beneficial Garden Insects to Help Your Garden Thrive

Aside from butterflies, most people don’t look at insects and think, “I would love to have some of those hanging out in my garden – aren’t they just wonderful?” Instead, we see those bugs as pests, lumping them all together in one big pile as “undesirables.”

But rather than making all insects and bugs (there is a scientific difference) persona non-grata in your garden space, there are a few that should always receive a ready welcome as a natural method of pest control for those pesky bugs that threaten your plants. This is especially important in edible gardens, where the use of chemicals isn’t ideal.

If these beneficial garden insects aren’t already regular attendees at your garden parties, then put them on the guest list and find out how to best attract them and give them the environment they need to thrive.

Get to Know the Bugs

You already know the bumblebee as a great pollinator, but here are a few other beneficial garden insects to consider:

Parasitic wasps

These include Ichneumon wasps, Braconid wasps and Chalcid wasps. Among their favorite snacks are garden pest insects like cabbage worms, tomato hornworms, corn earworms, codling moths, cutworms, armyworms, webworms, cabbage loopers, corn borers, aphids, strawberry leaf rollers, tent caterpillars, whiteflies and white grubs.

If you have tomatoes, peppers, eggplants or potatoes in your garden, these wasps are a great ally, as they’ll lay eggs on the tomato hornworms that feast on those crops and become a natural form of pest control when the eggs hatch. Attract parasitic wasps by planting flowers in the dill and daisy family.

Lady Beetles

Lady beetles (also called ladybugs) love to feast on aphids, whiteflies and mealybugs. Gardens with beans, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupes, cauliflower, collards, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, spinach, squash, tomatoes, turnips and watermelons are prone to aphids, so make these beneficial garden insects part of your arsenal instead of breaking out the chemicals. As is the case with parasitic wasps, attract lady beetles by planting flowers in the dill and daisy family.

Green Lacewings

These beneficial garden insects are natural predators of many garden pests including mites, whiteflies, aphids, thrips and other small, soft-bodied pests and their eggs. The perfect guardians of gardens with tomatoes, cucumbers, asparagus, peas, onions, cabbage, lettuce and fruit trees, green lacewings are generally attracted to plants in the dill and daisy family, so add those to your edible garden.

Hire an Expert for Your Edible Garden

At Executive Landscaping, we have years of expertise in creating beautiful edible gardens for our clients in spaces of all shapes and sizes. We know that it doesn’t take a great deal of space to make a garden great, so we work within the footprint to maximize the results with plants that are useful to your needs and thrive in our area. We also know how to best attract beneficial garden insects to your space giving you a healthy, thriving edible garden.

Call the garden experts at Executive Landscaping, Inc. today to learn more about beneficial garden insects and the many landscaping services we offer!