When you have a problem with pests eating your carefully selected plants, it can be tempting to lay down a field full of pesticides. But remember, not all bugs are bad! Many insects are beneficial for your garden, and prey on pests.
Pretty much everyone has heard of ladybugs (also called lady beetles), which can each eat upwards of 4,000 aphids during their lifetime. Lacewings and ground beetles also eat aphids, as well as mites and insect eggs. Tachinid flies prey on caterpillars and caterpillar larvae; spined soldier bugs do as well, and also eat gypsy moths and many other species. And of course, butterflies and bees will pollinate your plants and bring more beautiful color to your garden.
Most beneficial insects can be purchased in egg form, then released into your garden. To convince more of them stay in your garden, consider the following plants:
- Ladybugs: dill, dandelion, fern-leaf yellow, basket of gold
- Ground Beetles: evening primrose, amaranthus, clover
- Lacewing: dill, angelica, golden marguerite, coriander
- Spined Soldier Bugs: local perennials
- Tachinid Flies: Queen Anne’s Lace, carrots, cilantro, dill, coriander, buckwheat, sweet clover
- Butterflies: local plants in bright colors, local milkweed
- Bees: local plants with a single row of petals in yellow, white, blue, and purple
Remember, if you want to attract beneficial insects, you’ll need to stop using pesticides. Chemicals don’t discriminate between good and bad bugs!
When you’re ready to make your garden friendlier to beneficial insects, make Autumn Hill Nursery in Woodstock, GA your first stop. We have the tools and knowledge to help!