- Organic Pest Recipes | Can You Dig It
- Beneficial Insects--Direct to your door! | Can You Dig It
- Recognizing Beneficial Larvae | Can You Dig It
- Identifying Wasps | Can You Dig It
Gardens are tiny ecosystems, providing shelter and food for a variety of plants, insects and animals. Organic gardeners recognize this balance of life and use nature to their advantage. While insects may appear pesky and sometimes scary-looking, the majority of insect life in the garden is a good thing. One of the simplest means of organic pest control is to let these critters do the dirty work for you!
All insects are not pests, and many of the bugs you see around the garden can help keep the true pests under control.
Dragonflies are one of the most beautiful beneficial insects you can welcome to your garden. These flying insects are generally at home in wet environments, but you can attract them to your garden with a small pond or birdbath. Dragonflies eat many of the more harmful garden pests, including mosquitoes, aphids, flies and gnats.
Ladybugs often symbolize good luck, and if you find these little red beetles in your garden you are lucky indeed. Ladybugs are the workhorses of organic pest control, capable of feasting on dozens of aphids, mites, small caterpillars and larvae. They are a natural predator of aphids, and some estimates suggest that a single ladybug eats as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime.
There are 20 species of praying mantis in North America, and all have voracious appetites for garden pests. The mantis feeds on small and large insects, including aphids, mosquitoes, caterpillars, flies, grasshoppers and crickets.
In addition to beneficial insects for pest control, keep in mind that insect pollinators, such as honeybees and butterflies, are welcome guests to your garden habitat.