Can Insects Help Control Pest Problems?

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Insects are commonly labelled as pests since they are harmful to plants and sometimes to humans too. But did you know that only 1%-3% of the one million insect species are pests

The rest of the insects can help to keep the pest control problem outside of your home. If we encourage the growth of these insects in our garden, they can actually help us: 

By preying on the bugs: Spiders are predators of insects. A few varieties of beetles, bugs and lacewings also prey on pests.

By pollinating plants: Honeybees, native bees, moths, and butterflies pollinate the plants and help bear fruits. 

Every pest has a natural solution to it, often in the form of other insects. Maintain the delicate balance of your garden such that you cater to beneficial insects.

By parasitising pests: Certain small wasps are naturally parasitic and lay their eggs inside the pests, keeping the population down.

Beneficial Insects

Not all insects are destructive. Several insect species, provide long-term pest control by feeding on the pests that damage your garden and home. 

Spiders

Spiders are the most beneficial of all insects. They prey on a variety of pests such as: 

  • Bed bugs
  • Aphids
  • Grasshoppers
  • Fruit flies
  • Cockroaches
  • Mosquitoes

Spiders are attracted to tall plants (weaving spiders) and mulch (predatory spiders). 

group of bees sitting in front of a door

Praying Mantis

Following spiders is the praying mantis, which is highly beneficial to your garden. They consume: 

  • Moths
  • Caterpillars
  • Crickets
  • Gnats
  • Beetles

Plant things like flora like dill, dandelion, common yarrow, fern-leaf yellow to attract them to your garden.  

Lady Bug

Ladybugs are pretty common in your garden. But did you know that they consume pests? 

  • Mites
  • Aphids
  • Scale
  • Whiteflies

Planting daisy, tansy, or yarrow will draw them to your garden. 

Lacewings

Most species of adult lacewings do not harm pests since they live on pollen, honeydew, and nectar.

It’s actually the larvae that are predatory. The larvae prey on soft-bodied pests like: 

  • Leafhopper 
  • Aphids
  • Whitefly
  • Mealybugs
  • Caterpillar of pest moths

They are attracted to plants such as angelica, dill, coriander, dandelion, golden marguerite, and composite flowers like yarrow, goldenrod, and asters.

Nematodes

While some nematodes are harmless, there are a few that are harmful. So you may have to be careful when choosing nematodes as your pest control. They prey on:

  • Cutworms
  • Beetles
  • Root weevil larvae

Tips to Welcome Beneficial Insects

Rather than chemical pest control, beneficial bugs are one of the best tools nature has given us. You can tap into its vast potential by establishing a welcoming habitat that includes shelter, water, and food. That way, they are available in your garden all year round.

  • Plant an assortment of flowering plants to provide the insects with an alternate food source when the pests aren’t available. They use the nectar as fuel when searching for pests or while reproducing. 
  • Set aside a separate habitat for the beneficial insects in your garden with plants such as Daisy family, yarrow, aster, dill, cilantro, wild carrot, parsley, fennel, members of the mustard family, mints, and buckwheats. 
  • Beneficial insects such as ground beetles and soldier beetles spend a part of the year underground. So have patches of soil that are undisturbed by tilling or digging. 
  • Include perennial grasses, shrubs, and hedgerows containing native flowering perennials, shrubs, and trees in your garden. They provide an ideal habitat for beneficial predatory bugs. 
  • Cover the bare ground with a cover crop or organic mulch. It protects the insects from harsh climatic conditions like temperatures, wind, etc. 
  • In the absence of a water source like a pond nearby, have dishes of water filled with gravel. 

If you’re experiencing a more significant pest problem that can’t be resolved with other insects, then call our pest control Gold Coast team and we’ll help to remove them for you.

Possum Control Gold Coast

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