Beneficial Bugs for our Gardens

Pests can be very annoying but at the same time, some of them can be very beneficial for us.

There are a variety of bugs that can particularly be good for a healthy garden. These beneficial bugs actually keep destructive bugs away from your fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs.

Beneficial bugs are categorized into three groups:

Predators

beneficial bugs

The praying mantis (mantids) is one of your garden’s best friends.  These bugs only eat other insects including many that may attack plants in your garden.  In addition to mantids, spiders and centipedes also feast on garden insects.  Mantids will catch and eat flies as soon as they land on a plant.  Spiders simply wait until files, moths and other flying insects get caught in their webs before they begin snacking.  Centipedes typically attack garden insects on or near the ground.

Parasites

beneficial bugs

Certain wasps and flies will fly up to and land on garden damaging caterpillars.  Once they land, they lay their eggs on the caterpillar and fly away.  These eggs will then hatch and the larvae begin to feed on the caterpillar until it dies.

Pollinators

beneficial bugs

Honeybees are the primary pollinators in our crops and gardens but there are a number of other bees, wasps, flies, beetles and butterflies that also like to feed on nectar or pollen.  When they feed they spread pollen from male flowers to female flowers and as a result, provide a wide variety of food that we are able to enjoy.

Attracting Beneficial Bugs

beneficial bugsA number of different perennials, including pollen and nectar-producing plants such as
fennel, daisies, dill, clover, cabbage, sunflowers, goldenrod, catnip and yarrow can be planted to attract beneficial insects and pollinators.  Having a variety of these plants helps to maintain a ready source of pollinators to aid in pollinating any fruit that you may be growing.