You can attract good bugs to your garden by providing a welcoming haven that makes an inviting place for them to live. Make it a place loaded with good things to eat and plentiful hiding places where they can make homes and raise their young. It’s to your gardens advantage to keep these "good bugs" happy and content. Do everything possible to make these guys want to hang around and, watch your garden prosper.
Attract Good Bugs to Your Garden
Did you know that bugs are beneficial to the plants in your garden? It’s to the advantage of your garden to provide good bugs with a welcoming environment. Make your garden a welcoming paradise for bugs and watch it prosper. While there are harmful bugs, we should make the good ones feel right at home, and remember chemicals don’t just kill bad bugs, they kill the good ones and the bad ones. The better solution is to provide an attractive home for the good bugs and let them take care of the rest.
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To have a natural selection of beneficial bugs choose plants that attract them. These plants include plants from the carrot family, dill, cumin, anise, parsley, parsnips, coriander, celery, and carrots. The flowers grow in clusters and resemble parasols. They are know for their biological importance as crop plants. Called “umbellifers,” they attract pollinators and soil builders which are predators of “bad bugs.” Umbellifers are recommended to attract ladybugs, who feast on aphids, scale insects and lacewings. Umbellifers also attract beneficial parasitic wasps and predatory flies. These bugs are the good guys that you want to remain plentiful in your garden.
Do you know the bugs you want to attract to your garden and those you want to give the old heave-ho? Here’s a run down on the good guys.
Beetles or ladybugs:
They are spotted and feed on soft bodied pests like aphids, which is a good thing. Encourage them to stay in your garden by planting cosmos, marigolds, geraniums and coreopis.
Spiders consume many of the bad bugs. Make them feel at home by providing straw mulch and perennial beds for shelter.
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Pollinators are bumble bees,wasps and butterflies. They pollinate by carrying pollen from plant to plant. You must have these in your garden to have flowers and fruit.
Various predatory mites:
These tiny helpers help control pests on roses, eggplants, strawberries, fruit trees, and other garden vegetables.
These blue-black or brown beetles eat slugs, snails and more garden pests. Leave some stones and ground cover for hiding places.
They resemble house flies and battle army worms, tent caterpillars, squash bugs,cutworms, Japanese beetles and more. Plant nectar and pollen plants to attract them.
These wasps are small as gnats and kill all kinds of caterpillar eggs, including tomato horn worms. Horn worms eat leaves and flowers so the wasps are very beneficial.
The bad bugs:
A colony of mealy bugs look like white cotton. Knock them off with a blast of water from the hose, or spray them with insecticidal soap.
Tiny Encarsia wasps are great for predators.
Some of these round worms are good while some are bad. To banish them, remove dead material each fall and turn the soil when the garden is finished.
Aphids are bad, they feed on sap, weakening the plant. To control aphids, your garden needs lacewings who have a huge appetite for aphids. Build up a good population of lacewings by applying a sugar and protein mixture. Dribble it on the plants, especially the plants effected. It’s a natural safe method that will do no damage to the environment or your garden.
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Published in: Gardening