Not all bugs are harmful to your organic garden. Some insects are beneficial to have around to help keep the plants healthy and safe. Many eat and destroy the more harmful insects that feed and kill your flowers, herbs, and vegetable plants.
The aphid midge is a fly with long legs that feds on over 60 types of aphids a bug that sucks plant sap causing damaged leaves, flowers, and branch tips. They emit a sweet sticky substance onto the plants that cause mold and bacteria to grow. This insect feeds on this insect by secreting a toxic substance that paralyzes the insect. Plants with pollen will attract these insects to your garden.
Another insect the braconid wasp injects its eggs into insects that are hosts. The larvae feed inside the host. They destroy beetles, moths, and aphids. Once the larvae have developed the insect dies. Ways to attract this insect to your garden is to grow dill, parsley, and yarrow.
Ground beetles prey on snails, slugs, cabbage maggots, cutworms, and other garden pests. In fact, one larva eats over 50 caterpillars. To lure a ground beetle to your garden plant perennials and some ground cover like white clover.
Lacewings help rid the garden of mealybugs, caterpillars, and whiteflies. Plant angelica and sweet asylum to attract these bugs to your garden. Ladybugs eat many harmful bugs. These insects are aphids, mites, and mealybugs. Their hungry larvae also destroy garden pests. Plant dill, fennel, angelica, or yarrow to attract them to your garden.
Do you have a problem with moths? The Trichogramma brassicae or wasp is an insect that stops moths from forming by laying eggs in moth eggs. The mothes never develop so there is no moth infestation.Their larvae feed on moth eggs and hatch in about 10 days. The moth eggs turn black or brown as they develop.
Hoverflies resemble bees but move like flies. They eat several insects in the garden. They visit many plants in search of pollen and nectar and lay eggs in aphids and other soft-bellied insects. Their larvae hatch eating up to over 60 aphids at a time.
True bugs insects use their mouth shaped like a tube and suck the juices from the insects. They kill mites, aphids, whiteflies, and insect eggs. The insect lays eggs on leaves near the insect they feed off of. The larvae hatch and begin to feed off the prey.
Many local organic garden centers sell plants that attract these insects and some even sell the insects. An organic consultant can help you learn more about this topic. Helpful insects in your garden keep your organic garden healthy.