Despite all the garden pests I have found in my yard there are many beneficial insects that I should pay tribute to! I am very careful what I use to kill my pests because I do not want to harm the good guys who work hard in my garden all season killing the bad guys. If you see a bug in your garden and you are not sure if it is harmful to your veges or not just contact me with a description or identify it yourself on the web!
Above are pictures of the best bugs for your garden! Do not squish these guys they kill all kinds of pests! From grubs to aphids. Each picture is linked to its original website and labeled (I took the Bumble Bee picture). A few other beneficial insects that I have not named are the flower fly, Big-eyed bug, Bees, and Wasps. Apparently the Lace wing pictured above is also called "Aphid Lion" because of all the bad guys they eat! Dragonflies are not just good for your garden they eat tons of mosquitos that bite you and spiders may scare some but they make a feast out of bad bugs. Some people (including me) even buy lady bugs, mantises and lace wings to help out their gardens! You can also buy beneficial nematodes (very small worm like creatures) from Gardener Supply! Interested? Just click on the picture below to find out more!
My hydrangea with resident leaftier.
These guys are really neat but they kill your beautiful hydrangea bushes! As you can see in the picture they fold two leaves together and then web them together. If you open them up you see a wormy caterpillar looking thing pictured below. The caterpillar turns into a moth after feeding on your plant.
If there are just a few of these guys it is no problem just clip the sewn leaves off and throw them some where far away (not in your compost). You can not do that if there are a ton because it will kill all your flowers buds since that is what they build their little homes around and eat! If there are a lot of them like I have this year from all the rain you have three options. One is to open each affected leaf take it out and squish it.. EWW!! So gross! I know it is just a wormy caterpillar but I can not even do that! Besides it could take a long time to do that! Or two, the solution I use, spray the heck out of the little buggers.
Now do not freak out! I am not talking about using kill your lungs and drinking water harsh-chemical spray that never breaks down and stays in the soil and mutates your unborn offspring. No, no, no.. This is a nice ORGANIC blog full of friendly advice like how to kill bugs naturally (and you can not use birds for this one because they do not see them in their hiding spots). You have to use a chemical that has Bacillus thuringiensis a bacteria that the little buggers will eat and die. Bonide has a bottle of it called Thuricide that works very well.
Lady bugs from Gardener Supply.
Now I said there were three ways and there are! This is by far the coolest. Order a bunch of Lady bugs and before you release them put a tarp, cloth or something over your hydrangea bushes and secure at the base. Then set the lady bugs free under your tarp. Lady bugs are wonderful beneficial insects. You can order a whole bunch from Gardener Supply and many other garden stores. I did this last year and it was very effective.
One pest down and many more to go!