Any homesteader or gardener knows how pesky insects can ruin plants. Buying repellent can be expensive and do just as much damage on your garden as pests can. What many people don’t know is, there are an abundance of insects that can help your crops and control the pests.
Lady bugs and their larvae do a lot of damage on pests. They eat pests like aphids, mites, and mealybugs. The best way to attract ladybugs is to plant fennel, dill, yarrow, and angelica.
Soldier bugs got their name because their red bodies resembled the coats of soldiers. They are accidental invaders, being attracted to catnip, hydrangea, and goldenrod. They feed on caterpillars and aphids, as well as other insects that are harmless.
The full female lays its eggs into insects like caterpillars, moths, and aphids. The larvae feed from the host insect and kill it as the larvae develop. To bring them to you garden, grow plants with small flowers such as dill, yarrow, and parsley.
One larvae of this beetle can eat more than 50 caterpillars. They are predators of many pests that thrive off gardens like slugs, snails, cutworms, and cabbage maggots. Plant perennials and white clover.
Lacewings are aggressive aphid predators and live off of other soft bodied pests. They are nocturnal and are attracted to angelica, cosmos, and coreopsis. Both adult lacewings and larvae feed on caterpillars, whiteflies, aphids, and thrips.
While the praying mantis is aggressive towards anything that gets in its way, it is also extremely beneficial for your gardens. They are very predacious species and eat the larger pests that intrude your garden. They will eat grasshoppers, beetles, crickets, and other large insects. They are attracted to many of the same plants as ladybugs and other beneficial insects. This includes dill, yarrow, and marigold.
The bumblebee is extremely vital in the pollination of your crops. While they may not help get rid of the other pests, they pollinate so every year your plants grow back bigger and more abundant.
This fly is one of few insects that are beneficial for the whole ecosystem. The larvae attach on the pest and burrow their way inside the insect. They destroy them from the inside. Caterpillars are one of their main prey. Plant dill and other herbs to attract them.
These are only a few of many beneficial insects. Instead of spending money on expensive pest repellent, made of only chemicals, you can rid your plants of pests the natural way.