Beneficial Bugs- Your New Besties!

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Good bugs are beneficial in the garden and you’ll want to create an environment so inviting they’ll never want to leave. Let’s make our garden floor a cozy welcome mat of organic mulch while offering up a little food and drink to entice our new little friends to stay. Good bugs even like to dine on tiny, easy to reach, flower nectars on occaison. Plant a variety of tiny blooms that will continuously flower throughout the season for them to feed on, and you’ll have a garden filled with multitudes of BBFF’s (best beneficial friends forever!) 

Love the Ladybugs (Lady Beetles) This cute, red spotted bug can eat their fair share of aphids, mealybugs, and mites. However, it’s their baby larvae that are the real voracious eaters. But unlike their mothers, the babies are pretty scary looking, so don’t be tempted to destroy these very beneficial alligator-like little monsters. Ladybugs are attracted to: carrots, parsley, dill, fennel, yarrow, angelica, and coreopsis.

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Praying MantisThese amazing insects are fun to watch and are even thought of as garden pets. They are beneficial because of their enormous appetites, constantly chowing down, night and day, on a wide range of pests, including caterpillars, mosquitoes, aphids, mites, moths, flies, wasps, beetles, and crickets. Praying Mantis are attracted to: tall grasses, shrubs, cosmos, marigolds, and dills.

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Lovely Lacewings  This delicate, green, fairylike insect with its huge transparent wings is one of the most effective beneficial bugs for your garden. They consume pollen and nectar exclusively, so keeping that diverse supply of flowering plants throughout the season will help keep Lacewings thriving. Their babies are very similar in appearance to Ladybug larvae, but are even more ravenous, consuming up to 100 aphids per day– earning them the nickname “aphid lions.” They also dine on whitefly, leafhopper, mealybugs, and caterpillars. Lacewings are attracted to: angelica, caraway, coreopsis, goldenrod, yarrow, tansy.

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Remember, it’s a bug-eat-bug world out there!