The Bug Advantage

The Bug Advantage - why some bugs are beneficial

Often, we hear about negative things impacting the environment, but what about the positive impact of bugs? Yes, bugs.  Insects play an important role in our ecosystems and unbelievably, help sustain a healthy world.  Here are a few cases where insects make a positive contribution to gardening that helps us all.

Bees:

Bees are the primary pollinator of flowers, fruits, vegetables, and trees.  As bees go from flower to flower, they distribute pollen which starts the process that produces fruits, vegetables and grains for your table.
Bees produce honey, which is also edible.  Honey is sweet and tasty, but it’s also loaded with antioxidants and some studies indicate it may help lower blood pressure. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3005390/)

Ladybugs:  

Are indispensable for fighting aphids and scale insects, which are destructive pests in gardens, agricultural fields, orchards, and similar places.
They lay their eggs under leaves where aphids or other destructive insects are found.  Emerging larvae and adult ladybugs feed on them. 
Ladybugs don’t eat helpful bugs or harm plants.

Garden Spiders

Garden spiders eat many insects including aphids, caterpillars, beetles, flies, grasshoppers, leafhoppers, plant bugs, and thrips.
Some species are beneficial for controlling plant damage by other insects.
Garden spiders enjoy gardens… they’re typically not interested in entering houses and are not poisonous.

Hover flies

Also known as flower or syrphid flies, the hover fly is often confused with wasps and bees.

Hover fly larvae feed on aphids, which are harmful to plants.  Hover fly larvae appear earlier in spring than other helpful insects and are known to help gardeners obtain larger and more beautiful raspberries and strawberries.

Ground Beetles

Some of these beneficial garden insects create vertical tunnels that they use to ambush and trap prey, but most ground beetles wander about at night feeding.
They are nocturnal and dig down into mulch and other organic matter during the day.
They eat slugs, snails, and cutworms. While they will eat earthworms – which we want in garden soil – their benefits outweigh this drawback.  
Some are also important consumers of weed seeds.

Dragonfly

Dragonflies are helpful to have in the garden because they feed on aphids and other harmful bugs. 
Dragonflies are also useful in keeping mosquito populations under control.

Gardening is important to a healthy environment and to the production of healthy foods we love to eat.   Without healthy plants, water and air quality suffer, too.  It’s good to keep helpful insects in your garden.  If you find other varieties invading your home, we can help you remove them and keep them out.  Call us for same-day help!