There are a number of insects that are beneficial for gardening and will keep unwanted pests away. Here are a few of those.
1. Aphid Midge
These insects look like a delicate, small wasp. The larvae eat more than sixty varieties of aphids from the garden. You can attract them by growing plants with a lot of pollen and nectar.
2. Big-Eyed Bug
This is a fast-moving bug with large eyes and very small black spots on its head and thorax. They are usually found in field crops and orchards. The big-eyed bug eats leafhoppers, spider mites, plant bugs, aphids, and small caterpillars. This bug is a real asset to gardening.
The ladybug ranges in size from 1/16 to 3/8 inch and has round red, orange or yellow bodies with black markings. They prefer gardens that have a large amount of pollen and nectar-producing flowers. The ladybug is fond of aphids, mealybugs, small insects and scales. The Mexican bean beetle is related to the ladybug but is not beneficial.
4. Minute Pirate Bug
These bugs are 1/4 inch long in adulthood and feature a black and white pattern. Fast-moving like the big-eyed bug and attracted to gardens where goldenrod, yarrow, alfalfa, daisies, and other flowering, pollen-producing plants are grown. They eat small caterpillars, thrips, spider mites, insect eggs, and immature leafhoppers.
5. Mealybug Destroyer
The adult mealybug is 1/3 inch long with an oval body and a coral-colored abdomen. Their wing covers are black. If mealybugs are present, the mealybug destroyer is there naturally and feeds on mealybugs in the garden.
6. Spined Soldier Bug
An adult grows to inch in length. They are grayish-brown and the shoulders of the thorax come to sharp points. Bugs of choice are caterpillars, armyworms, grubs, sawflies, and Mexican bean beetle larvae. The spined soldier bug likes the shelter of perennial plants near a garden.
7. Tachinid Fly
These bugs look like large, hairy houseflies and grow to a length of 1/3 to inch long. The females deposit eggs that kill caterpillars of many pest species such as gypsy moths and armyworms. The adults feed on flower nectar and enjoy sweet clover, parsley, and dill. Don’t kill the caterpillars with white eggs attached to them because the eggs will turn into more tachinid flies.
8. Tiger Beetles
Look for adults that range in length from to 3/4 inches. They are long-legged and bright-colored and eat many kinds of pests. Plant perennials when gardening and the tiger beetles should follow.
9. Assassin Bug
This bug is to 1 3/8 inches long and has a flattened look and elongated heads. They eat most common pests and are found naturally in any garden where pests live.
The adults grow to 1 inch long and are plump with yellow and black striping. They have a hairy body and smoky-colored wings. The bumblebee is a pollinator and is attracted to pollen and nectar flowers.
It’s important to attract beneficial insects to your garden. They pollinate and can rid your garden of unwanted pests.