Insects That Help or Hinder Your Garden
Having and caring for your own garden has so many amazing benefits! But do you get frustrated with garden bugs? You need to find the insects that help or hinder your garden then you will know what to do!
Before you can get that bountiful harvest, you have to keep those insects under control! And it’s no secret, that insects love those plants and veggies in your garden. Last year I had a horrid time with aphids – no matter what I used they were just everywhere! Some insects can actually benefit the growth of your garden but some insects can really take a toll on your plants as well. Since I had such a hard time last year with bugs, I’m talking today about which insects will help you out in your garden and those that you will want to shoo away! I want you to have a great harvest, as bug free as possible!
These insects help you out in your garden:
Lady Bugs will help you out in the garden by consuming aphids, also known as plant lice, and various other types of bugs that could potentially harm your garden. Lady Bugs can eat up to and get rid of 50-60 aphids per day saving your plants from a ton of potential damage.
Green Lacewings feed on the honeydew of aphids, nectar, and pollen of plants. This insect is an extremely beneficial one when it comes to controlling the amount of unwanted insects you will want in your garden.
Bumble Bees of course aid in the growth of your plants and will actually encourage them to grow faster and healthier. Although these little buggers may be a pest, they’re good to have around your garden.
Praying Mantis Lastly, the Praying Mantis…that just sounds like a scary insect, am I right? These are exactly what they are named after, an insect that looks like it is praying, that will attack many other insects that are in your garden including caterpillars. This insect is very active when it comes to killing other insects and it will help to aid in the growth of your garden.
These insects you will want to keep OUT of your garden!
Aphids, I spoke a little about aphids earlier, but they are what is known as plant lice that just hang around and destroy. You can find these in various sizes and colors (red, black, green, etc.), get rid of these as soon as you can.
Caterpillars seem like they would be completely harmless, but they actually feed on plants and will eat right through the leaves of anything you are growing.
Snails and Slugs will harm your garden because they will actually eat the leaves from your plants as well as the things you are growing including fruits, and vegetables.
Grasshoppers will feed on your plants as well and can actually do damage very quickly if you do not get rid of them. They are a bit on the harder side to get rid of but you will want to act fast and do your best.
Natural Ways to Keep Your Garden Pest Free
Now that you know which insects are good for your garden and which insects are not, this section will help you in knowing how to get rid of those insects naturally! Effectively controlling pesty insects naturally can be difficult. Here are a few great suggestions to help you keep your garden safe from the insects we listed above, that you don’t want in your garden, without using harsh chemicals.
- Aphids and Caterpillars
Oils are one of the most effective repellants for not only aphids and caterpillars, but a wide variety of other garden pests including ants, beetles, cabbage worms, leafminers, mealy bugs, and more. Neem Oil or a blend of Essential Oils containing equal parts of clove, peppermint, rosemary and thyme may be diluted in water and used in a spray bottle. The essential oils will also kill the eggs and larvae to help keep the pests from returning.
Predators are one effective way to control the grasshopper population. Grasshoppers like to take cover in dense vegetation especially when they are young. Provide an area of dense vegetation to attract the grasshoppers where a large number will fall prey to spiders, frogs and other predators. Bird perches are another way to provide an increase of natural predators that will help control the pest population for you. A different approach is Nosema locustae. This is a naturally occurring fungus that weakens and kills grasshoppers when they eat it. It is not harmful to most beneficial garden insects and is sold as Nolo Bait or Semaspore.
- Slugs and Snails
Barriers are one of the most effective ways to deter or stop snails and slugs. Sprinkle crushed egg shells around the area you want to protect. Slugs and snails will avoid crossing the sharp pieces. Make sure not to crush too fine. Other barrier substances include (food grade) Diatomaceous Earth, salt and ash, sand, or sawdust.