Predatory Bugs: Natural Enemies Of Common Pests

Predatory bugs, natural enemies of common pests

Day and night, organic pest-free gardens are buzzing with activity. And most of it is the life-and-death conflict between prey and predator. 

Many of us seldom see such kind of natural pest control where tiny assassins and soldiers - beneficial insects - patrol their surroundings for their next meal.

Keep in mind; these insect soldiers and assassin bugs aren’t fussy. They stab or poison and consume a wide range of garden insects that include leafhoppers, bean beetles, and caterpillars.

Benefits Of Predatory Bugs

The most obvious benefit you get from using beneficial insects is that you don't have to opt for chemical pesticides. 

Non-toxic and nature-friendly approaches such as using predatory bugs help in growing plants organically

Also, you won’t need to worry about taking a bite out of your home-grown vegetable and fruit garden. Your garden vegetables and fruits won't be contaminated by harsh, unhealthy chemicals.

Employing Good Bugs

Many people aren’t aware that chemical pesticides not only wipe out the bad bugs, but end up killing the natural predators too. Now this is not good for the long-term maintenance and growth of your garden. 

Instead, you can use need the services of beneficial insects to make your garden more productive and beautiful.

These "good bugs" are also cost-effective and cheap. 

If you create a thriving environment, you'll attract beneficial insects to live and hunt in your garden. The best part is that you need not spend a single dime if predatory insects are native to your area.

Nowadays, various pests have started to show a great amount of resistance to chemical pesticides. As per the research done by Pesticide Action Network, since 1945, about 500-1000 weed species and insects developed resistance against pesticides.

In other words, chemical pesticides are no longer as effective as they used to be, not to mention that they are unhealthy to humans.

Beneficial Insects To The Rescue

Instead of using pesticides, put these beneficial insects to use in your garden.

1) Praying Mantis: The praying mantis consumes a wide range of pesky bugs and insects like beetles, caterpillars, crickets, and moths. What makes mantis one of the best predatory animals is it can turn its head 180 degrees to observe and analyze the surroundings.

You can easily attract these insects by planting marigolds, tall shrubs, and grasses, dills and marigolds. 

Praying Mantis

2) Ladybug: This insect commonly preys on whitefly, aphids, Colorado potato beetle, and mites. Ladybugs have got a huge appetite, and they consume more than 5,000 insects during their lifetime.

If your garden is filled with dill, fern-leaf yarrow, dandelion, and common yarrow then you can easily attract ladybugs. 

Lady Bug

3) Ground Beetles: The ground beetle is quite active at night, and they consume a variety of bugs like cutworms, caterpillars, slugs, and Colorado potato beetles. 

You can easily attract these insects by planting amaranth, evening primrose and clover plants in your garden.

Ground Beetle

4) Spiders: Spiders are one of the best pests that prey on caterpillars, aphids, fruit flies, and grasshoppers. 

Weaving spiders are attracted by tall plants and predatory ones are attracted by mulch.

5) Green Lacewing: If you want to get rid of pests like mealybugs, whitefly, aphids, leafhoppers, and caterpillars of pest moths, then green lacewing is a perfect choice. 

You can attract these predators by planting golden marguerite, dill, coriander, angelica and dandelion plants in your garden.

Green Lacewing

6) Aphid Midges: These insects are commonly used to prey on aphids. Do you know the aphid midges can prey on more than sixty kinds of aphid species?

Plants with nectar and a large amount of pollens are what attract this insect. Dill is another plant these insects appreciate.

7) Damsel Bugs: This bug is commonly used for controlling the population of mites, caterpillars, potato beetles, and cabbage worms. 

Various plants like alfalfa, fennel, caraway, Peter Pan goldenrod and spearmint are the habitats of these predatory insects. Furthermore, if you provide alternative places to hide, the population of damsel bug will increase.

Damsel Bug

8) Braconid Wasps: This is a common insect that preys on tomato hornworm, tobacco hornworm, aphids, and caterpillars. 

Plants like common yarrow, fern-leaf yarrow, lemon balm, dill and parsley attract these insects. The braconid wasps destroy the hornworms by laying eggs in the caterpillar, which then hatch and consume the hornworm caterpillar.

Aphid Midges

Wrapping Up

Having beneficial insects in your garden will help you control harmful insects without the use of chemicals. 

But before you introduce these good bugs to your garden, you need to keep in mind some important pest control measures for your garden. Some of the predatory bugs need to be imported, so you need to have correct and legal permits for them if needed.

Also, you should educate your neighbors on which are beneficial insects and which are pests. 

Plus, you need to ensure that the vegetation and climate are suitable for the population of the predatory insects.

So, go ahead and encourage these beneficial insects to your garden, to help keep your plants pest-free and beautiful.

AuthorAngela from NYCity Pest Control is a writer who is active in the pest control arena. NYCity Pest Control strives to find new and innovative methods to control insect and rodent infestations without excessive collateral damage. 


My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
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