Green Fingers I Wish

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Use Plants To Attract Beneficial Insects

Utilizing beneficial insects as a biological control to destructive insects is not by any means a new concept. Gardeners have long known of the effectiveness of Ladybird beetles to eliminate aphids. There are many more 'good bugs' out there, they just haven't received the notoriety of Lady bugs, because they may not be quite as cute, or maybe the name of a Trichogramma wasp may not sound as sweet. Nonetheless, these beneficial insects will help to keep your garden free of harmful pests. and hopefully reduce or eliminate the need for much of the use of insecticides in the home garden.

Invite beneficial insects to your garden by growing plants and flowers which provide food and a home for them. You can also purchase many good bugs at most larger nurseries and garden centers, but you will still want to provide them with suitable plants. Ladybirds are one such insect which are readily available for this purpose. Don't over populate your garden with beneficial insects though, because if there isn't enough prey for them, they will simply leave your garden in search of food elsewhere. Monitor your plants, and if you find that the beneficials are outnumbered, you may need to add reinforcements.Many of the insects which you will utilize don't actually do any control work themselves. They spend their lives enjoying the nectar and pollen from your flowers, and creating offspring. It is the larvae stage of these offspring which does the actual hunting and eating of the harmful insects.Plants which attract and provide homes for beneficial insects include:-

Alyssum, Butterfy weed, Caraway, Clover, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Marigolds, Nasturtiums, Wild carrot, Yarrow.

Some of those plants are available here

I`m going to continue on with my list of beneficial insects before I turn to those which are a real nuisance in the garden.


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