Mercy for Beneficial Insects
While the recent insect boom has most people immediately wanting to whip out the insecticide and go Rambo on these guys, it is important to remember that not all insects are bad. Many actually help to control and get rid of the harmful insects. Destroying these good insects may allow the bad ones to overpopulate.
The two possibly most beneficial insects are the lady beetle, also known as the lady bug, and the lace wing. Both insects feed on smaller, soft insect, primarily aphids. The lace wing larvae are actually called “aphid lions” because they have such a large appetite for the little pests. They can consume up to 50 of them a day. One species of lady beetles specialize in eating spider mites. Another prefers mealy bugs and scale insects. If you are invaded by aphids you should simply spray them off the plants with water, and the lady beetles will take care of the rest.
Assassin bugs and ground beetles are also helpful in getting rid of pests, despite their ugly façade. Ground beetles love to eat webworms, armyworms, cutworms, corn earworms, and others. But, the creature that tops all of these guys on the beneficial scale is the spider. Spiders are predators, and feed on a wide variety of insects, making them a must-have for anyone with a garden or insect problems.
What do you think of these beneficial insects? Are you willing to let them stick around and take care of your pest problem?