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Lifestyle

3 Beneficial Bugs for the Garden

March 27, 2020 3 min read

Why Should You Use Beneficial Bugs?

If you are looking for an alternative to chemicals in your garden, it’s time to use beneficial bugs.

Using beneficial bugs such as nematodes, ladybugs, and praying mantis is an all-natural approach to dealing with pests in your garden. Many pests can adapt to pesticides, but they can’t combat natural predators. Using beneficial bugs will eliminate the need for pesticides in your garden.

Beneficial Nematodes

Nematodes are a microscopic parasite that infests over 250 soil-dwelling pest larvae. Best used to prevent lawn grubs, Japanese beetles, fungus gnats, black vine weevils, craneflies, and thrip. They attack these insects by either injecting it with bacteria or entering the host and feeding on it.

Apply nematodes to the soil in early morning or evening, once the soil temperature is around 12°C (generally around April to May). They can be applied in spring, and again in autumn (September to October). Water well after applying. We do offer different kinds to target specific pests; please check with our staff beforehand to find your best solution.

Ladybugs

These red-shelled beauties will prey on soft-bodied pests and eggs such as aphids, whitefly, mites and fleas. They are attracted to dill, dandelion, and common yarrow. Adding these plants will encourage ladybugs to stay because they are attracted to sources of pollen and nectar.

Ladybug

We recommend keeping your purchased ladybugs in the fridge and release in the evening. Be sure to water the area before releasing and place a small dish of water in your garden. This will help ladybugs and native insects close to your plants in the heat of the summer.

NIC Ladybug Food

We also suggest adding NIC Lady Bug Food as a food source. This will direct them to certain areas of your garden you might want to protect along with raising the chances for beneficial bugs to stay in your space as they will have enough food to stay satisfied.

Did you know? Ladybugs can consume more than 5,000 aphids during their lifetime!

Praying Mantis

You can find these green or brown insects from spring to fall in your garden. They are known for their prominent front legs, that are held together at a prayer position. Praying mantis are a ferocious predator and will eat almost anything in its path, including moths, beetles, crickets, to name a few. You can find them enjoying tall grasses, shrubs, cosmos, marigolds and dill.

Mantis egg cases are available mid-late early April and need two to three weeks of warm weather to hatch. To protect nymphs (baby mantis) from rodents and birds, place them in a container with holes ½ inch in diameter; this will be large enough for the nymphs to escape.

Did you know? Mantis can turn their heads 180 degrees to view their surroundings!

Praying Mantis on Green Leaf