When planning your eco-friendly garden it is important to consider the essential role insects play in protecting your plants. While all gardens have insects, it is important to remember that not all insects are harmful predators looking to eat your plants and flowers and that many insects serve as garden protectors by feasting on the insects looking to destroy your plants. Gardeners and landscapers who indiscriminately use harmful insecticides will kill both the beneficial insects as well as the harmful ones. A good landscaper or gardner knows how to cultivate and use insects to create a natural environment where helpful insects are fostered and encouraged to take on the job of ridding the garden of harmful insects themselves rather than relying on caustic chemicals to do so. An experienced landscaper knows how to recognize and foster the following beneficial insects in his or her garden.
Green Lacewings. Many gardens have aphid problems. However, a landscaper can fend off a potential aphid infestation by making sure that his or her garden has plenty of these little predators. While the adult Lacewing does not eat aphids the larvae do, and do so voraciously. They are so adept at hunting and eating aphids they have been given the nickname “aphid lions.”
Lady Bugs. This common and beloved insect is quite the predator. It regularly feasts on mites, aphids, mealybugs and more. While Lady Bugs are commonly found in many gardens, if you have recently begun experimenting with eco-friendly landscaping and find your garden lacking then they can easily be purchased through mail-order or through a gardening or landscaping supply store.
Praying Mantis. This unusual looking predator feasts on some of the larger garden pests including caterpillars and beetles, making them a nice garden addition. However, they will also eat helpful insects such as Lady Bugs.
With the addition of these beneficial garden insects and more, soon you will be able to enjoy a garden where those buggy little plant and vegetable garden predators are kept in check without having to resort to toxic chemicals.