When you’re working in your garden, you might not like seeing so many insects around. It can be hard to know if the bugs are helpful for your garden or not, and you really don’t want anything around that will damage your garden.
But there are insects that are really good to have in your garden, so you know you can’t just get rid of every bug that you find in your garden. It’s simply a matter of figuring out which insects are best for your garden and which aren’t so you can call an exterminator in Philadelphia PA to help you get rid of the dangerous pests.
Why You Want Some Insects in Your Garden
It seems like a lot of insects are dangerous or damaging to your garden, so why do you want to have some insects in your garden? Well, part of the answer is that having insects in your garden makes it a well-balanced ecosystem. The plants and the insects help keep each other alive and growing, and if you remove part of that equation, the rest of the ecosystem can be disrupted as well.
That doesn’t change the fact, though, that some insects are too damaging to keep in your garden. You can try to get rid of these insects on your own, but sometimes you need help. And when you need help, you can try encouraging more bugs – beneficial bugs – to come into your garden. Many bugs are considered beneficial because they eat the damaging bugs, so you want to have these insects around as an extra defense against the damaging insects. Of course, occasionally you might also need to call an exterminator in Philadelphia PA for professional help if the problem is bad enough.
There’s one more really important reason you want some insects around your garden – pollination. Some insects are essential to good pollination between plants, so if you want your flowering plants to grow and produce well, you need pollinators around to do the job for you.
Beneficial Garden Insects
You’re probably familiar with the iconic little red and black beetles that frequent gardens. When you see one crawling around your garden, give it a little wave and a thank you for all it’s doing to keep your garden safe. Ladybugs are some of the best insects for preventing damage to plants because they eat the bugs (like aphids and larvae) that attack your plants.
Some people do try to purchase and release lady beetles into their gardens for that extra protection, but it’s hard to get lady beetles to stay around your garden for very long. If you want to try releasing extra ladybugs into your garden, you can, but know that it might only be a temporary fix.
Another small, beneficial insect to have in your garden is the green lacewing. Don’t confuse the lacewing with the lace bug. One is beneficial and one is not. Lacewings are tiny green flies with large delicate wings. They are usually active in the evening, so don’t expect to see them around a lot during the day.
These insects eat destructive bugs like mites and caterpillars (small ones), and they’ll also eat some insect eggs, particularly moth eggs. If you’re looking to release beneficial insects into your garden, lacewings are a good option because they’ll linger longer than lady beetles will, making them a better defensive release option.
As you might guess from the name, assassin bugs are also a great defensive bug for gardens, but gardeners do need to be careful of assassin bugs as well. They do bite humans, and their bites do hurt.
But as far as killing the non-beneficial bugs goes, the assassin bug will do great work. It has a sort of strong “beak” that it uses to stab its prey. It will then insert a sort of venom into its prey, liquefy the insides of the bug, and drink those insides. Gross, but effective. They’ll eat leafhoppers, caterpillars, and aphids, among other harmful insects.
The praying mantis is well-known for its iconic color and structure. Despite their peaceful sounding name, praying mantises are actually aggressive killers to watch out for – if you’re a grasshopper, fly, wasp, or another insect. But to us humans, praying mantises are pretty much harmless. They might bite, but they aren’t venomous and might not even break the skin, so there isn’t much to worry about from a praying mantis.
The one thing you might not like about having praying mantises around your garden is that they eat both beneficial and non-beneficial insects. For example, a praying mantis is just as willing to eat a bee as it is a caterpillar, and if a lot of bees in your garden were being eaten by praying mantises, your garden might not receive the pollination it needs. However, being great predators, praying mantises can be a big help in your garden if you have a lot of unwanted insects around.
Bees and Wasps
Some of the most useful insects to have around your garden are bees and wasps. These insects are incredible pollinators, so if you see a lot of bees and wasps flying around your garden, it’s a good sign that your garden will be well-pollinated and give you plenty of produce.
As good as these insects are for your garden, you may not want them around you much. To attract the bees and wasps to your garden, you can plant some fragrant flowers to attract more of them to your garden. But you may want to discourage the bees and wasps from building their hives near your garden because they may think you’re a threat to their home when you go outside to work in the garden.
When to Call an Exterminator in Philadelphia PA
With so many insects around to eat each other, you might wonder if professional pest control for your garden is even necessary. Unfortunately, there are times when the harmful bugs outnumber the beneficial ones and cause serious problems for your plants.
When this happens, or if you know if happens frequently in your area, it’s time to call an exterminator in Philadelphia PA. An exterminator can help ensure that your garden is protected from harmful insects and can give you suggestions about how to minimize certain pests around your garden.