What's Bugging Your Garden? Turn the Good Guys Loose

| 7/11/2013 9:31:24 PM

What’s Bugging Your Garden? 

Turn the Good Guys Loose 

There are a number of predator insects just ready and waiting to go to work gobbling up the pests in your garden.  You can order them by mail through seed catalogs if your local nursery doesn’t sell them. If you plan to use predators, you’ll have to order a large number of the good insects.  Many gardeners recommend a combination of ladybugs, lacewings, and praying mantises.  Don’t be surprised if they immediately take off to the garden next door. You’ll be more likely to keep them if you:

  1. Provide water.
  2. Plant a variety of flowering plants along with your vegetables.
  3. Keep something growing in the garden the entire season.

It would be wise to plan a year ahead of time, if you haven’t already done so, by planting herbs and flowers among your vegetables.  In general, the beneficial insects like flowers that look like daises and Queen Anne’s Lace.  Select open-pollinated flowers.

The ladybug, age-old symbol of good luck, is familiar to most gardeners with its spotted bright orange-red hemispherical shell.  It eats two and a half times is own weight each day in aphids, mealybugs, moth eggs, and spider mites.  Ladybugs eat both the adult and larval stages of many common garden pests.  The ladybug larva is a blackish spiny-bodied little beast with six short legs and red, blue, or yellow spots.  It also consumes a number of insects before it becomes an adult.

 Lady bug