flowersSome pests are bad news for gardeners. They nibble on precious flower and vegetable gardens and even sting gardeners. However, that doesn’t mean you should kill every bug you see in your garden. Some pests are good to have around. Tampa pest control experts recommend leaving these six useful garden pests alone.

  1. Braconid Wasps

These parasitic wasps lay their eggs in insects like caterpillars, moths, beetle larvae, and aphids. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on their hosts. The hosts die, so braconid wasps are great for gardeners. You can attract these helpful pests by planting dill, parsley, or wild carrot.

  1. Damsel Bugs

Damsel bugs feed on many plant-damaging pests such as aphids, leafhoppers, and thrips. You can find damsel bugs in crop fields, like soybean or alfalfa. They’re not sold commercially, but can be collected with a sweep net and then released in gardens.

  1. Ground Beetles

Ground beetles are big, black beetles, and they’re great for gardens. These nocturnal pests feed on more than 50 types of pests, including slugs, snails, and cutworms. Gardeners can attract ground beetles with perennials and mulch.

  1. Lacewings

These flying insects are voracious predators. They feed on garden pests like aphids, thrips, and caterpillars. Angelica, cosmos, and sweet alyssum will help gardeners attract lacewings. Lacewing larvae can also be purchased online or from some nurseries.

  1. Ladybugs

Ladybugs, also called lady beetles, are a well-known beneficial insect. The adults feed on aphids, mealybugs, and mites. Ladybug larvae are even more beneficial; aphids or mites are no match for their voracious appetites. Plants in the parsley family, like carrots and dill, will help you attract ladybugs.

  1. Minute Pirate Bugs

These tiny black-and-white bugs attack and eat many of the pests that bother gardeners. Whiteflies, thrips, and mites are meals for these pests. Minute pirate bugs also feed on insect eggs and help keep pest populations under control. To encourage them to live in your garden, plant goldenrods, daisies, and alfalfa.

Some pests are bad news for your garden, but your pest control experts at Apex know some bugs are very useful. If you see any of these six helpful bugs in your garden, leave them alone. If you’re looking to get rid of other unwanted pests, check out our blog or contact us for a free quote today!