Having pests ruin the hard work and time you’ve put into growing your own plants, fruits, vegetables, flowers, etc is the worst feeling. One of the best ways to get rid of pests without damaging your plants chemically is through beneficial predatory insects. You don’t need to necessarily go out and spend money on buying these insects. Many Gardens already have these predators around and may just need some encouragement.
There are hundreds of different beneficial predator insects, and most(not all) are available to buy commercially. Instead of buying anti-pest sprayable for your garden plants damaging alongside helping them, instead, buy a box of bugs. Here are some commonly used predatory insects.
Also known as lady beetles, these red and black spotted bugs enjoy eating soft-bodied insects and larvae. They are predators to Aphids, Leafhoppers, Mites, Mealybugs, and Scale. You can either go out on a warm day looking under trees and plant leaves, collecting them for your garden. Or you can buy them as adults and release them into your garden.
These microscopic worms live in the soil and feed on many underground pests. They are usually bought, mixed with water, and sprayed directly onto the soil. They target different pests so make sure you get the right one. Beneficial Nematodes are predators to Flea larvae, grubs, snails, slugs, and root weevils.
The larvae of these flying insects feed on soft-bodied insects. When they turn into adults most fly away. The larvae are predators to Aphids, insects, and both eggs, mealybugs, scale, spider mites, thrips, and other soft-bodied insects. By applying sugary spray on your plants with aphids or any infected plant, you have a chance of these green flies coming into your garden. These insects can also be bought in egg form, but they need to be reapplied sometime after to form a steady population.
Leafminer parasites are small wasps that lay eggs in the larvae of leafminers. the eggs hatch after and feed on the leafminers. They can be bought and shipped as adults.
These tiny wasps are harmless to humans but are one of the most useful predatory insects. They lay eggs inside the bodies of larvae and eggs. These wasps are predators of over 200 types of pests. These wasps can be attracted by planting a variety of flowers and maintaining a ready supply of moisture for them to drink out of. You can also buy them as Eggs or larvae.
The Praying Mantis is one of the largest garden predators. They are beneficial to have in your garden as they eat larger insects such as mosquitoes, grasshoppers, and moths. Praying Mantis will also eat Aphids. You can attract Praying Mantis to your garden by planting shrubbery as the females prefer to lay their egg cases in the shrubbery. You can also buy egg cases and release them into your garden.