Attracting Beneficial Insects to Your Garden

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Attracting Beneficial Insects to Your Garden

Post by tree68 on June 23rd 2008, 11:11 pm

Attracting Beneficial Insects to Your Garden by Mike McGroarty

Last week's newsletter was all about how beneficial insects
can help you fight plant-eating insects in your garden. But
if there aren't any beneficial insects in your garden, they
can't come to your aid. This week you will learn how to
attract beneficial insects to your garden.

There are a variety of common plants and flowers that attract
beneficial insects. Beneficial insects are not only attracted
to plants which are infected with their insect prey, but they
also tend to be selective about the plants on which they lay
their eggs. Many beneficial insects also spend part of their
lives surviving on the nectar and pollen of their favorite
plants. Ideally, your garden plants will provide food, shelter
and a nursery for beneficial insects. Some of these plants
may already be in your garden.

Caterpillars, leafhoppers, beetles, moths and grubs are attacked
by tiny parasitic wasps. Because they are so tiny themselves,
parasitic wasps prefer tiny flowers when they want a drink of
sweet nectar. Parasitic wasps will frequent a garden that
features some yarrow, dill, parsley, Queen Ann's lace or tansy.
These umbrella-shaped flowers are very attractive to a number
of beneficial insects.

Green lacewings and ladybugs will also appreciate the same
umbrella-shaped flowers. They also like cosmos, prairie
sunflower and even dandelions and alfalfa. Lacewings prefer
to lay their eggs in shady areas that are protected from the
weather. They'll be happy to find some of their favorite
plants in a quiet, protected corner of the garden.

Various herbs are attractive to some beneficial insects.
Adding some herbs here and there amongst your flowers or
vegetables will surely lure some beneficial insects to work
in your garden. Lemon balm, pennyroyal, spearmint and parsley
will attract hoverflies, parasitic wasps and tachinid flies.
Tachinid flies look like hairy house flies and they lay their
eggs on caterpillars which can do a lot of damage in a garden.
Tachinid fly larvae will destroy corn earworms, cabbage worms,
armyworms, and other fly larvae.

Providing the proper plants for food and shelter is just one
step toward attracting beneficial insects to your garden. The
most important thing to do to encourage beneficial insects in
your garden is to stop using chemical pesticides. Chemical
pesticides are not selective and will kill both harmful and
beneficial insects. Many organic insecticides are selective
and when used properly, will not harm the beneficial insects.

(more personal stuff about Mike and Pam)

Have a great week!
-Mike McGroarty

P.S. The message board is here:

Posts : 390
Join date : 2008-01-17
Age : 79

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