Climate love

Ann Nyambura

2 w

EcoWatch

Climate love

9 Good Bugs for Your Garden and How to Attract Them

Not all creepy-crawlers are welcome in the garden, but some insects are very beneficial to the success of your flowers, herbs and veggies. According to Almanac, beneficial bugs fall into three categories: pollinators, which help pollinate plants; predators, which feed on garden pests; and parasitizers, like parasitic wasps and other insects that lay eggs inside of harmful insects.
Here are a few insects that you should welcome into your garden, and how to get them to stick around all season.
1.Earthworms -It’s no secret that earthworms are a garden’s best friend. Because these squirmy invertebrates breathe through their skin, they find oxygen by tunneling through the soil, creating pockets of air in the process that hold both water and oxygen for plants to use, too. Their movement also loosens the soil and makes it easier for roots to grow. As they tunnel, earthworms break down dead plant matter in the soil, making those nutrients available for your growing garden. Their excrement — called “worm castings” — is also full of beneficial nutrients like magnesium, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Worms themselves are an important source of food for birds, which also combat garden pests.
2.Ladybugs -To attract ladybugs to your garden, grow plants with flat flowers or those in the parsley family like carrots, fennel, dill, parsley and yarrow, as well as marigolds and calendula. If you buy ladybugs from a nursery, resist the urge to put them in the garden right away — without a source of food, they’ll fly away. Put the container in the fridge for 6-8 hours before releasing them. This slows them down so they don’t fly off when you open the container. Release the bugs at twilight or right before dawn somewhere in the yard that has flowering plants or aphids for them to eat.
3.Praying Mantises - they’re best used in yards with a significant pest problem, since they’ll have plenty to snack on besides pollinators and other pest-eaters. If you have a pollinator garden, it’s best to skip them entirely rather than risk losing the local pollinator population. To introduce the mantises, buy egg cases from a garden center, which you can keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks until it’s warm outside. When releasing them, don’t place the container on the ground, where hungry ants might go after the eggs. Instead, hang the container from a tree in a shady spot, preferably somewhere near pests so the praying mantises are encouraged to stick around.
4.Green Lacewings-Aptly named, lacewings have bright green bodies and delicate looking, lace-like wings. Their larvae are predators of many insects, including aphids, caterpillars, cabbage worms, mealybugs, mites, thrips and whiteflies. Lacewings also tend to stay close together, which is good for dealing with a concentrated pest problem. They can be bought and introduced, but lacewings will usually come on their own, hanging their eggs from threads on the underside of leaves. To attract them naturally, avoid pesticides, which will kill them off. Pollinator-friendly plants will encourage the adults — who feed on nectar and pollen — to stay in your garden all season.
5.Ground Beetles- These nocturnal insects dig into the dirt during the day, but will come out at night to feast, which makes them especially helpful for tackling pests that are active at night, like slugs. They eat more than fifty different pests, including snails, nematodes, caterpillars, thrips, weevils and silverfish. Keep in mind that they can’t climb, so they’re limited to eating the species that live near the ground. Ground beetles live in decaying plant matter. To attract them to your garden, mulch the surface, and they’ll happily overwinter there. They also live in perennial plants that provide them shelter. If you want to introduce some to your garden beds, turn over a few logs and they’ll almost certainly scurry out, and you can transfer them to the garden yourself.
6. Soldier Beetles- Their orange and black bodies make them look menacing at first, but they’re actually very helpful as both pollinators and pest predators. Soldier beetles pollinate while feeding on pollen and nectar, but they also eat other insects, including the eggs of grasshoppers and soft-bodied insects like caterpillars and aphids. Like ground beetles, they live near the soil (often under logs) and like some cover from leaves and mulch. To welcome them into your garden, plant flowers with compound blossoms like Queen Anne’s lace, and those with yellow and orange blossoms like marigolds and zinnias.
7. Assassin Bugs- have a distinctive curved, beak-like mouth (called a rostrum or proboscis) that they use to spear their prey, injecting venom into their body and then sucking on the insect to feed. They’ll eat aphids, boll weevils, caterpillars, leafhoppers and even some insects larger than themselves. Assassin bugs can generally be found in bushy plants or weed-filled areas during the summer. Unlike some other beneficial bugs, they aren’t readily available for purchase, but it’s good to know what they look like so you don’t eliminate them by accident.

9 Good Bugs for Your Garden and How to Attract Them - EcoWatch

Here are a few insects that you should welcome into your garden, and tips on how to get them to stick around all season.

https://www.ecowatch.com/gardening-beneficial-bugs.html



8. Bees- To attract bees to your yard, give them plenty of native flowering plants to feast on. Because clover, dandelion, and other lawn weeds are important food sources for bees, mowing your lawn less frequently will give them another source of food. Bees need water, too, and a small bowl of water filled with marbles gives them somewhere to drink without fear of drowning. Solitary bees (those that don’t live in hives) create different nests, and their nesting sites should be protected. Ground nesting bees create holes in the ground, while cavity nesters look for debris like branches and logs to make their home, so they’ll be happy if you leave some yard and tree trimmings untouched.

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  • Daniel Waweru

    2 d

    Very informative, thank you

    9
  • We Don't Have Time

    2 d

    Dear Ann Nyambura Thank you for getting your climate love to level 2! We have reached out to EcoWatch and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! /Adam We Don't Have Time

    3
    • Harrison wambui

      2 d

      That's great

      3
      • Lydiah Lynne

        2 d

        Great information

        3
        • Komu Daniel

          1 w

          great information

          9
          • Tabitha Kimani

            1 w

            Amazing insects whose value is underrated by many people. Serious lobbying is required in this realm.

            7
            • Gorffly mokua

              1 w

              Great insights.

              7
            • Kevin

              1 w

              Very informative

              9
              • Edwin wangombe

                1 w

                Really informative... Thanks for sharing

                9
                • dickson mutai

                  1 w

                  it's the simple solutions that matter

                  10
                  • Hilda Wangui

                    1 w

                    Very educative news

                    8
                    • Joseph Githinji

                      1 w

                      This is a great information.

                      19
                      • Munene Mugambi

                        1 w

                        Ladybirds, goody

                        19
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