Most insects and spiders are considered pests from a human point of view. It is an extraordinary idea that they can be useful to the plants in your garden.
Even though creepy crawlies sometimes seem dreadful, they are a cog in a larger ecosystem. Even though most people hate bugs, some insects and spiders have useful features that can help keep your yard and garden healthy.
Insects are members of a vibrant community of organisms that collaborate to create a unique homeostasis. There are many beneficial insects that may change the way you garden. When plants and insects work together, you may even be able to avoid using pesticides.
Bugs that are good for plants fall into three distinct categories: pollinators, predators, and parasitoids. They each have their own special mechanism that works to protect plants from harmful insects and, in some cases, bacteria or fungi.
Now that you know the good that some insects can do for your garden, you might be wondering how to get them to your plants. You can either attract them by planting specific plants, or you can buy the bugs in their egg or larval stages.
This can be a difficult choice to make. Buying bugs for your plants require less effort than attracting them. However, attracting bugs that are natural to your ecosystem prevents introducing non-native species.
If you do choose to buy them then make sure that you do not introduce an invasive species to your yard. This can create an adverse domino effect that can cripple whole ecosystems.
Be wary if you choose to buy them online, you could get scammed or bring in a non-native species.
If you study your local bugs you can take specific measure to put their features to work for you. It can be very rewarding to attempt to attract certain species and see them show up during their season.
It used to be very difficult to obtain insects. However, thanks to the internet it is much easier to find vendors who have the bug that you need. Not all vendors are legit, even the bug market has its dishonest lot.
Some pests can be purchased online, where others can only be purchased in their egg or larval stages. Bugs lifespan can be rather short, so even eggs and larvae mature rather quickly. Usually within two weeks.
Reputable stores where you can buy bugs for your garden:
Attracting native insects that are beneficial for your garden may take more effort and time, but it is also rewarding and potentially safer for your local ecosystem. The best way to get a specific insect or spider to your garden is to target their physiology. Find out what it is they seek or eat, provide them shelter, and make changes to your garden.
Attracting insects and spiders is only one of many ways to avoid using pesticides in on your lawn or in your garden. There are many alternatives that vary in price. The simplest way to protect plants is to use row covers and netting. This prevents creatures from getting to your plants altogether.
The downside of using row covers is the that it drops the visual appeal of the area. If that is a concern then organic pest control methods may be the best way to keep pests away from your greenery.
Those with more land and a water source may even consider getting ducks or chickens to mind the garden. They are relatively harmless to plants but do eat many types of harmful insects.
No matter which method you choose, it is possible to have healthy, thriving plants without using chemicals on your property. With the recent rise of pesticide-related cancers, it is important to consider all your options. Using insects to fight insects is a holistic way to avoid using pesticides.
© 2017 Melody Collins
Louise89 on August 05, 2019:
Great info! Thank you!
Mary Wickison from Brazil on October 15, 2017:
Interesting article. We have an organic coconut farm in Brazil and agree with a natural system for pest control.
When you stop to look at the role each insect plays, Mother Nature has a balance. It is only humans who have caused it to become unbalanced.
Although I don't like wasps, I have seen them taking caterpillars off my bougainvillaea to put in their nests. Predator insects and birds are the best at pest control.