Not all insects in a garden are harmful
It is pretty likely that you have encountered bugs in your garden and maybe you have wondered if they were there to snack on your plants. The truth is that some insects are definitely there for a quick meal, while others are beneficial insects or are there to protect. Every organism, no matter the size, is important to the ecosystem you have built around your home. Resorting to chemical insecticides will only upset the balance and create even more pest problems. So if you’re wondering which good garden bugs can help your outdoors, look no further!
Beneficial Insects: Using Local Georgia insects
In Georgia, there are a multitude of beneficial insects that you may already be familiar with. These include ladybugs, the praying mantis, spiders, and beetles. These insects love to eat aphids which are popular pests in any garden. Beetles are useful when it comes to controlling cutworm and slug populations. Praying mantis’ usually feed on caterpillars and grasshoppers. Seeing these good garden bugs in your backyard is a good sign. It means less, if any, chemical inputs for you!
Good Garden Bugs: The Value of Nematodes
Perhaps one of the most underrated organisms that has proven to be extremely beneficial throughout history is the nematode. Nematodes are multicellular insects with smooth bodies. These beneficial nematodes attack insects with harmful bacteria and then parasitize them. They feed on harmful fungi and bacteria that may be in your soil to prevent disease in your garden.
How to attract beneficial insects to your garden
Therefore, it is in your best interest to always include plants that attract pollinators and useful insects. You can include flowers like hibiscus, monarda spectate (Bee Balm), and Georgia catmint. Pollinators and beneficial insects are generally attracted to bright colors so there is no limitation to shrubs, flowers, or edibles that you can use to create a balanced system.
So to answer how insects benefit your garden: Allowing for the existence of insects in your garden helps keep a balance that is no longer vulnerable to invasive insects or disease above or below ground!