Beneficial Insects

All these sounds, the crowing of cocks, the baying of dogs, and the hum of insects at noon, are the evidence of nature’s health or sound state.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) 

Where would we be without the "hum of insects?" Probably some of Mother Nature’s most overlooked creatures are the bugs that bring such joy and life to our gardens. Honeybees pollinate the flowers and fluttering butterflies brighten the sky. Unfortunately these aren’t the only visitors to stop by. Battling destructive insects such as leaf miners, spider mites and Japanese beetles can be a frustrating experience.

LadybugsI say fight fire with fire by pitting good bugs against bad bugs. You see, there are certain beneficial insects that will prey on damaging pests. A good example of this is the ladybug. A ladybug with a healthy appetite will eat aphids, immature white flies and spider mites.

Now, there are some areas of the country where ladybugs have become a bit of a nuisance themselves. If you live in one of these regions, try green lacewings. These little insects will help control aphids, small caterpillars, whitefly, mites, scale, thrips, and mealy bugs.

If the spider mite is the bane of your garden enlist the aid of the Feltiella acarisuga. This tiny midge has proven to be especially effective when used on plants with fuzzy stems and leaves such as tomatoes and cucumbers.

You can purchase beneficial insects through organic garden supply companies or even a local garden center. In most cases the insects arrive in a dormant state ready to be released into your garden. There is an earth-friendly solution for just about every pest control problem.

Just be sure to follow the release directions carefully and you will be able to enjoy the sounds of "nature’s health" without fretting over what the bad bugs are up to.