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3 Bugs You Actually Want In Your Garden

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

About Insects

      Yes, insects, those pesky little six-legged creepy crawlies are usually frowned upon by the masses. Many of them look like minature monsters that one does not wish to see become a giant able to bite of their heads.

     Many a frightful movie has been based upon insects like the ant or bees. Bees and ants can indeed kill a human depending on the ant as well as the bee, or how many bees attack at once. Especially when someone has an allergy to these mini monsters that horror films, at least in the past, have been comprised of.

     People shudder at the thought of seeing ants, flies, bees, or any other bug for that matter in their house. Gardner's as well. However gardener's, at least the ones who've done their homework know that not all bugs are bad, at least not for their garden. Any gardener, or farm for that matter will smile when they see the bugs they want in their garden have arrived.

     That's right, there are people who actually want bugs in their garden, for not all bugs destroy gardens. In fact there are a number of insects which are beneficial to the garden. Yet gardeners use pesticides, which may allow the plants to grow, but pesticides are not only poisonous to bugs, but to humans as well.

     Those whom use certain plants to deter ants, fleas, termites and other harmful insects and nematodes also use beneficial insects in their gardens. In this way they can minimize their carbon footprint while maintaining a beautifully flourishing garden of flowers and produce.

     The best gardens are after all, the ones that don't use pesticides and still look marvelous. It is possible with the right planning, both of beneficial plants and beneficial insects. In fact some of those beneficial plants one hears about, actually invite beneficial bugs while deterring the pest bugs too.

     There are several insects to choose from of course, which are beneficial to ones garden flowers and crops, but some of them may be more beneficial than others. However one should note that only inviting one of the beneficial insects can only do so much, inviting five or more different kinds of beneficial bugs can really do wonders.


3 Wonderful Insects That You'll Wish You Had In Your Garden


1. Hoverfly

     The hoverfly is a beneficial bug that you'll actually want to have in your garden. The reason you'll want to have them, is because some species of the hoverfly the larvae is insectivorous and preys upon pest bugs. These include aphids, thrips and other plant-eating bugs as well that can destroy ones lovely flowers or crops. Plus some of the adults of the syrphid flies are also beneficial, because they're able to pollinate. Therefore they kill two birds with one stone. This, by eating the aphids which can cause tens of millions dollars worth of damage to crops every year world wide and by pollinating the crops.

Hoverfly
     Despite their bodies exhibiting Batesian mimicry of bees and wasps, they are not however bees or wasps. They are however often mistaken for them, but are actually harmless as they do not have a stinger.

     These beneficial insects can be found on all contients the world, except for Antarctica.

    

If you'd like to invite these beneficial insects, the hoverflies into your garden you should plant some companion plants that they love. These plants include alyssum, buckwheat, candytuft, chamomile, parsley, statice or yarrow.


2. Ichneumonidea

     Every member of the family Ichneumonidea may be a wasp, but they're not dangerous. They may have a long stinger attached to them, but it is not used for stinging. Instead it is used by the wasp to bore a hole and lay eggs inside the hole of a rotten tree. This formidable looking stinger is called an ovipositor and they use it to lay their eggs. Unlike most other wasps and bees they do not deliver stings.

Ichneumonidea Wasp
     The reason they're so beneficial to gardener's, is because these wasps within the ichnemouoidae are mostly parasitoids. Their larvae will feed upon or inside of another insect until it dies. They can be used to control fly and beetle populations which can help to keep ones garden from being ruined by the voracious insects. Many of them utilize polydnavirus so that they can suppress their host insects immune system.

     If you'd like to invite these particular helpful bugs into your garden you'd have to have their preferred meal. However if you do not have their preferred meal of particular flies and beetles then you probably will not be able to utilize them.

     They may already actually be in your garden, but might have thought them as a bother. However they're not. Just don't pick one up in your hand and you should be fine and your little helpers will help you with your beautiful garden while filling up their bellies.


3. Trichogramma Wasps

     The wasps of the Trichogramma genus are also beneficial wasps for gardener's flowers and crops. They too, like the ichneumonidea are parasitoids. They are however much smaller than the ichnemouidae. They measure in at 1 millimeter or less in length.

     They feed on the eggs of various different pest insects, like a parasite. The female of the species, can inject her eggs into a pest insect host and the larvae will then consume the embryo and other contents found within the egg.

     Unlike some insects, this is one which is easy to rear and then release into ones fields which may be suffering from an outbreak of pest bugs.

     You need not worry about getting stung by these little beneficial insects, for they are a stingless wasp.

     Should your fields of flowers, or crops happen to be infested with cotton bollworm, codling moth, or European corn borer, then never fear. You're going to want to get your hands on one of these stingless wasps from the Trichogramma genus of wasps which boasts over 230 species which feasts on at least 28 species of pest bugs.


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Bibliography

  1. "Beneficial Insects." Wikipedia. 18/05/2012 <Web >
  2. "Trichogramma." Wikipedia. 18/05/2012 <Web >
  3. "Hoverfly." Wikipedia. 18/05/2012 <Web >
  4. "Ichneumonoidea." Wikipedia. 18/05/2012 <Web >

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