WHY USE BENEFICIAL INSECTS?
Chemical Pesticides | The most obvious benefit to using these insects is not having to use chemical pesticides. The non-toxic approach allows you to grow your plants organically.
Good Bugs | Chemical pesticides don’t only wipe out the bad bugs, they kill the beneficial insects as well. This is bad news for the long-term maintenance of your garden as there won’t be a population of natural predators to feed on these pests. Pesticides may be effective at wiping out the first wave of pests, but leave you open to later damage without repeated spraying.
Cost Saver | Beneficial insects are there to stay if you can build an environment for them to thrive in. Occasionally you’ll need to purchase a house for the beneficial insects but only if the insects are not native to your area.
Resistance | Several insects are starting to show a resistance to chemical pesticides. According to studies, between 500 and 1,000 insects have developed resistance to pesticide since 1945. However, there is nothing a pest can do if it’s getting eaten by a predator.
* = Commercially Available
Prey | Aphids, Whitefly, Mites, Scale, Thrips, Fleas, Colorado Potato Beetle
Attracted By | Dill, Dandelion, Fern-leaf Yellow, Basket of Gold, Common Yarrow
Facts | Ladybugs can consume more than 5,000 aphids during their lifetime. Also called Ladybirds in the UK.
Prey | Wide range including Caterpillars, Moths, Beetles, and Crickets
Attracted By | Tall Grasses, and Shrubs, Cosmos, Marigolds, Dill
Facts | Mantis can turn their heads 180 degrees to view their surroundings. Adults grow 2”-3” long.
Prey | Wide range including Bed Bugs, Aphids, Roaches, Caterpillars, Grasshoppers, Fruit Flies
Attracted By | Tall plants for Weaving Spiders, mulch for Predatory Spiders
Facts | Most spiders complete their life cycle in one year.
Prey | Slugs, Caterpillars, Colorado Potato Beetles, Cutworms
Attracted By | Evening Primrose, Amaranthus, Clover and around Root Crops
Facts | Ground Beetles are typically only active at night.
Prey | Aphids
Attracted By | Dill, plants with plenty of pollen and nectar, source of water
Facts | Aphid Midges can attack 60 different species of aphids
Prey | Tomato Hornworm, Tobacco Hornworm, Caterpillars, Aphids
Attracted By | Fern-leaf Yarrow, Common Yarrow, Dill, Lemon Balm, Parsley
Facts | Braconid Wasps kill Hornworms by laying eggs inside the caterpillar
Prey | Caterpillars, Mites, Aphids, Potato Beetles, Leaf Hoppers, Thrips, Cabbage Worms
Attracted By | Caraway, Fennel, Alfalfa, Spearmint, Peter Pan Goldenrod, or plants in the Aster family
Facts | Damsel Bug populations can thrive if you provide them with alternative places to hide.
Prey | Aphids, Whitefly, Leafhopper, Mealybugs, Caterpillars of pest Moths
Attracted By | Dill, Angelica, Golden Margaerite, Coriander, Dandelion
Facts | Their larvae do the actual job of getting rid of soft-bodied pests. They are also called Aphid Lions since they hunt and consume aphids
MINUTE PIRATE BUGS
Prey | Spider Mites, Insect Eggs, Caterpillars, Aphids, Thrips
Attracted By | Caraway, Fennel, Alfalfa, Spearmint, Peter Pan Goldenrod
Facts | Both immature stages and adults prey on a variety of small insects
Prey | Grasshopper Eggs, Aphids, Soft-bodied Insects
Attracted By | Goldenrod, Zinnia, Marigold, Linden trees
Facts | Soldier Beetles do not damage plants and are harmless to people
Prey | Gypsy Moths, Japanese Beetles, Cutworms, Squash Bugs
Attracted By | Carrots, Cilantro, Dill, Coriander, Buckwheat
Facts | Tachinids paralyze their prey by laying eggs onto the host or nearby foliage
Prey | Aphids, Mealy Bug, Thrips, Corn Borers, Scale Insects, Caterpillars
Attracted By | Fern-leaf Yarrow, Common Yarrow, Dill, Basket of Gold, Statice
Facts | Hoverfly larvae feed on pests, while the adult flies feed on pollen
Prey | Mealybugs (not all species)
Attracted By | Fennel, Dill, Angelica, Sunflower, Goldenrod
Facts | One Mealybug Destroyer can eat up to 250 Mealybug larvae
Prey | Spider Mites
Attracted By | Humid environments like greenhouses and high tunnels
Facts | Predatory Mites feed on pollen, not plants, when prey is unavailable
Prey | Flies, Gnats, and Mosquitos
Attracted By | Creeks, ponds and water features
Facts | Dragonflies make their homes near water. Their larvae attack and consume other water born larvae suck as Mosquitos. As adults they eat other flying insects
Prey | Aphids, Caterpillars, Fleas, Flies, Mealy Bugs
Attracted By | Sweet, nectar-rich flowers
Facts | In early spring while in mating season the winged ants will swarm & eat invasive