Periodically, we will purchase a few types of beneficial bugs and release them into various parts of the yard.
If aphids are an infestation in the garden, beit vegetable, tree or flower, these insects are perfect. The aphid midge does resemble the garden gnat and is sometimes mistaken for it’s doppelganger, but is much more beneficial. An aphid infestation will attract the aphid midge, but if there’s no sign of them and a voracious aphid infestation has taken place, they can be purchased as well.
It used to be said that if one sees a ladybug, that it’s considered good luck. Well, as a benefit to the yard and vegetable garden, that’s right!
The ladybug is able to consume almost 100 aphids each day. They will also consume mealy bugs, leaf hoppers, mites and other types of soft bodied pest insects. The adult lady bugs will eat moth eggs and mites. If a natural approach to attracting these insects is needed, it is best to plant angelica, coreopsis, dill, fennel and yarrow.
The Praying Mantis
The Mantis, during it’s early stage, will eat aphids, leaf-hoppers, mosquitoes, caterpillars and all sorts of other insects which are soft bodied; however, as the mantis gets bigger, it can eat larger pest insects such as grasshoppers, beetles, and crickets.
If purchased from a distributor, the egg sacs will be whole and will need to be suspended from a high spot such as on tree limbs or fence posts.
Otherwise, if an established colony has been established, during the spring, lots of egg pods will be seen on branches and several places along fences, ect.
It will look like this:
It’s exciting to find them in the spring. When they are seen it’s safe to know that a healthy vegetable growing season is almost inevitable!