It’s no surprise to us Albertans that we went straight from snow to balmy weather in a matter of days. But summer is finally here, in all it’s blooming, leafy glory! The BBQs and patio parties are about to begin with fervor, and backyard get-togethers are no exception. This means that taking care of our backyard gardens are now a part of our usual routines. But when it comes to nurturing gardens, it’s not just water and sunshine that will help out the sprouts. Did you know that there are several insects that are actually good for your growing plants? Encourage them to make a home out of your garden and the pesky bugs will have a run for their money!
They aren’t just impeccably well dressed! Ladybugs, or lady beetles, are incredibly beneficial for garden plants and backyard flowers. Their favourite meals are aphids, mites, and other soft-bodied critters that tend to be much less friendly to our leafy friends. If you find yourself dealing with an aphid infestation, it might be in your plant’s best interest to release ladybugs into your garden! In their larva stage, a ladybug consumes more than 400 soft-bodied aphids while adults chew through at least 5,000 in their lifespan.
These delicate little bugs are natural predators of aphids, small caterpillars, thrips, and other scale insects. Though the adults feed entirely on nectar, aphid honeydew, and pollen, the larva are extremely well equipped to protect your garden and love to feast on pests. They lay tiny pale green eggs on long “egg stalks” underneath the leaves of leafy green garden plants. Lettuce is one of their favourites!
It should go without saying that bees are one of the most beneficial creatures when it comes to a healthy garden. Not only are they nature’s busiest pollinators, but they’re also adorably fuzzy! Their fuzziness isn’t just for the adorable aesthetic however—it helps them pollinate flowering plants as the pollen sticks to their hairy bellies and legs!
Knowing the difference between the unhelpful creepy crawlies and the beneficial bugs is the first step in tending to your garden this summer. Sometimes our best efforts to rid ourselves of the pests actually does so much more harm by removing the beneficial bugs along with them. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, try to steer clear from using sprays or dusts and instead encourage the good bugs to make homes in your backyard. Plant a flower bed around your garden with plants that have an abundance of nectar and pollen, such as yarrow, dill, marigolds and lavender. Invite the beneficial bugs to your garden parties this summer and you’ll find a happier, healthier backyard from your efforts!
If an infestation of the not-so-friendly bugs has become an issue, don’t hesitate to contact us! We want to help you rid your garden of unwanted guests! Call us at 403-262-1666 for all pest control inquiries.