ladybugs are beneficial bugs

5 Beneficial Insects For The Health Of Your Garden

While it may seem like all insects are pests, some are more friend than foe to your garden. How can these beneficial insects help you? Here are 5 whose charming habits you might enjoy…

1. Ladybugs

Ladybugs are beneficial insects

If you’ve ever read the children’s story, The Grouchy Ladybug – written by Eric Carle, you’ll find that ladybugs, no matter how grouchy cannot fight gorillas and snakes, but they can fight some of the biggest predators in your garden: aphids, whiteflies, mites, mealybugs and scale insects – those pests with sucking mouth parts that feed on your precious plants. Ladybugs can control pests without using insecticides. It may not happen overnight but once those ladybugs reach effective numbers, those nasty pests better watch out. They are not only lovely little creatures that can provide a healthy impact to your garden; they eliminate the need for chemical distress that can potentially cause more harm than good.

Plants that attract ladybugs

  • Dill
  • Dandelion
  • Fern-leaf yellow
  • Basket of gold

Ladybugs available at SummerWinds Nursery

2. Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis are beneficial insects

These are one cool looking creature with a healthy appetite that will benefit your garden. They can devour numerous types of insects such as flies, mosquitoes, moths, and even roaches. They prey day and night on insects. Praying Mantises can help control the moth population in your garden, as many species of moths like to chew on the edges of your plant’s creating some hefty damage.

Plants that attract Praying Mantises

  • Dill
  • Yarrow
  • Fennel

Praying Mantises available at SummerWinds Nursery

3. Green Lacewings

Green Lacewings are beneficial insects

Like the ladybug, lacewing beneficial insects will be your best gardening friends. They are insect predators with delicate-looking wings that give them their names. Lacewings have long antennae and gold or copper eyes. Green Lacewings will happily eat mealybugs, psyllids, thrips, mites, whiteflies, aphids, caterpillars and leafhoppers. Be sure to discontinue the use of broad-spectrum pesticides to allow these little bugs the chance to do their job in your garden.

Plants that attract Praying Mantises

  • Dill
  • Angelica
  • Coriander

Green Lacewings currently not available at SummerWinds Nursery but can be ordered in upon request

4. Beneficial Nematodes

Nematodes are beneficial

Nematodes are live microscopic organisms that occur naturally in soil. Beneficial Nematodes can be used anywhere developing pests exist including backyards, flower and vegetable gardens, lawns, fruit and nut trees, vines, greenhouses, row crops, pastures and more. They can be used to control soil borne insect pests but are useless for control of pests found in the leaf canopy. Beneficial Nematodes will attack soil borne insect pests with no harmful effects on earthworms, plants, animals or humans, making it an environmentally friendly solution. Beneficial nematodes for gardening insect control may be used to kill pests such as: Caterpillars, Cutworms, Crown Borers, Grubs, Corn Rootworms, Crane flies, and Thrips fungus gnats.

Beneficial Nematodes available at SummerWinds Nursery

5. Redworms

Redworms are beneficial

Redworms are beneficial to the improvement of your soil. Redworms, known as red wigglers, are essentially earthworms. These worms ingest food scraps and other organic waste at a rapid pace. Castings (poop) from Redworms contain more beneficial micro-organisms, enzymes, humus, and plant stimulants than regular compost. The castings provide soil binding, retaining abilities, and will greatly improve your soil’s texture. Earthworms do a lot of mixing and aerating.

Redworms currently not available at SummerWinds Nursery but can be ordered in upon request

For more information on other beneficial insects  Learn More

If you have any questions about beneficial insects, or want to learn more about the subject, visit your local SummerWinds Nursery for more information.

About SummerWinds Nursery: SummerWinds Garden Centers is a leading high-end retailer of garden and nursery products. Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, SummerWinds operates retail nurseries in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, and in Silicon Valley, California, making it one of the largest independent retail nursery companies in the west. SummerWinds appeals to both the serious and casual gardeners, with a broad selection of premium gardening products and a friendly and knowledgeable staff.