Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bug Buddies

We always hear about the insects we don't want in our gardens.  You know the ones. Those pesky bugs that devour our flowers, shred the new leaves on our trees or damage our grass. Not all bugs are a nusiance.  In fact, some give our gardens huge benefits, acting as neatural pest controllers or pollinating our flowering plants.

These are the insects and bugs you should welcome to your garden:

Green Lacewings.  The larvae of this insect prey on aphids.  They are nicknamed "aphid lions," and the devour the pesky aphids at an amazing rate. 

Bees.  Bees polinate plants, propagating your flowers.

Assassin Bugs.  This bug feeds on everything from beetles to caterpillars.  Their name should give you a hint of what they're capable of in the bug world.  Be careful if you handle one. They do have a pretty painful bite. 

Dragonflies.  They prey on aphids and mosquitos.

Praying Mantis.  With a vorocious appetite, these green giants of the garden will go after any pest in your garden.  They are very effective in controlling garden pests. 

Ground Beetle.  Ground beetle larvae develop in the soil and prey on the pests found on the ground.  These include slugs, cutworms, snails and root maggots. 

Lady Bugs.  We like them because they are cute, but they are also the most commonly used bug to control pests.  They love aphids, but they also eat whitefly, scales, mites, mealybugs, tomato hornworms and cabbage moths.

Centipedes and Millipedes.  Centimpedes hunt soil pets including slugs and fly pupae.  Their burrowing also improves your soil. 

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