Garden-Friendly Insects

by woodlandpowerproducts
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Want to sound cool and hip next time you go to that trendy hipster coffee joint they just built in the “up and coming” neighborhood? Do the following:

1) Order the most obscure coffee on the menu. The harder to pronounce, the better.

2)  When the barista asks if 2% milk is okay, scoff and say: “Do I really look like a 2% type of guy/gal? Oatmilk, por favor!”

3) When the barista is making your beverage, spark up a conversation with them. To appear cool and trendy, what better way than to talk about beneficial garden insects? You might say something along the lines of: “Yeah, the beneficial garden bugs—my garden buddies, as I like to call them—are really saving my garden this year.”

4) For bonus points, you might consider calling beneficial garden insects “beneficials,” or, if you want to be even more daring, “bennys.”

Everyone knows that bees and butterflies are great garden buddies. But truth be told, they represent only a small portion of beneficial garden insects. Let’s take a look at some other, lesser-known insects that are crucial to your garden’s health and longevity.

Ladybugs – Through their name and appearance ladybugs may seem like happy-go-lucky little bugs who serve no purpose other than looking cute. However, ladybugs are actually fierce predators who provide a great service to the garden. One of their favorite prey is aphids, which can invade and wreak havoc on many plants. (Fun fact: ladybugs are actually a member of the beetle family.)

Spiders – While technically not insects—spiders are actually arachnids—we figured we’d include them here in exchange for good spider karma. As you might expect, spiders benefit the garden by keeping insect populations in check, which can help reduce the need for using synthetic insecticides. Hey, I know spiders kind of suck when we see them skirting across the floor all creepy-like. But spiders in the garden, for the most part, keep a low profile while keeping your garden in tip-top shape.

Wasps – I know. Wasps are generally thought of as evil and purposeless creatures, I realize, but hear me out! While many insects serve a single purpose in your garden (whether that’s pest, pollinator, or predator) wasps serve a dual purpose. In addition to pollinating the plants when the feed on nectar, wasps also make fierce predators who can keep annoying pests at bay.

Praying Mantis – Despite their alien appearance, praying mantises are generally well-received in the garden community for two reasons: 1) they hardly ever bother humans, and 2) they are not picky eaters. Though if praying mantises have one downside it’s that they are perhaps too vicious of predators. In addition to consuming pests, they also have been known to eat other beneficial garden insects (like the ones listed above).

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