It might sound a little strange to promote pests for your plants, but hear us out! There are actually some pests and creepy crawlies that are beneficial for the growth of our plants, both the indoor and garden variety. As we start to see the warm weather roll in, keep in mind which insects and pests can benefit your blooms this spring!
Not only are they one of the cuter insects out there, but ladybugs are a mighty warrior for your garden! These spotted beauties feast primarily on aphids, up to 60 a day and several thousand over their little bug lifespan, as well as mites, mealy worms and leafhoppers. The larvae don’t harm your growing plants and will grow to eat more pesky bugs. They’re also impervious to potential predators as they secrete a musky, foul odour that drives most everything away. Though they’re most recognized as red, ladybugs also come in shades of yellow and orange. To invite more ladybugs to your garden, try planting fennel, mint, cosmos and dill!
Your first reaction may be a definite “no!” to spiders helping out in your flower beds, but spiders are excellent pest control. Our eight-legged friends will go after insects like flies, wasps, aphids, fruit flies, grasshoppers and caterpillars and will continue to eradicate those pesky insects from spring all the way through to fall. Did you know that spiders will even hunt bed bugs?!
We’ve primarily talked about predators so far, but another beneficial bug is the bee. Pollinators are essential to the life cycle of plants and we all know bees are the most popular pollinators around. To attract our little bumbling friends, plant brightly coloured flowers, such as evening primrose, marigolds, cosmos, bergamot or calendula. They also love their herbs and will definitely visit for basil, dill, oregano and parsley!
Without a doubt, bats have been painted in an unfair light because they are actually very helpful in controlling mosquitoes populations and other nasty pests in your yard! Bats can eat thousands and thousands of bugs a night and they prey on moths, beetles, midges, gnats, mayflies and even wasps. If you’d like to try your hand at building your own bat box, check out this video on how to build a simple one at home!
Boost the productivity of your garden by planting varieties that attract pollinators and beneficial bugs and pests. Making your garden a busy economy of the good bugs and the helpful pests will keep your plants safe and healthy. If you’re needing finding them, call us at 403.262.1666!