Did you know that more than 97% of all the insects in your garden are beneficial and help your garden grow? I did not know this until I started working on this article! Most insects help to propagate plants, eat other pests, or improve your soil.
Let’s talk about three insects that help control pests.
The first insect is a beetle, easily known as a beetle or lady beetle. There are about 70 species of female beetles in Colorado, and they are incredibly helpful to gardeners. Lady Beetles are insect predators and feed on aphids, worms, termites and other harmful soft-bodied insects around your garden.
Lady beetles have four dimensions: the eggs, the larvae, the puppies, and then the adult stage that most of us know. The larvae also eat predators and other pests. Most of us do not know the level of the larvae, so it is important to know what the larvae look like so that we do not destroy the female beetle unintentionally at this stage.
Lady beetles lay their eggs on nearby leaves of aphids or termites. Once hatched, the larvae begin feeding on insects for the next 10 to 14 days before entering the puppy stage. The ladybug larvae have long, narrow, long legs. They are usually black or gray, but may have blue, orange, or yellow markings.
Lady beetles live in the garden as long as insects are available for food. Once the food supply is gone, or at the end of the season, the lady beetles find shelter under rotten plants and move to the dipland or elsewhere in the winter.
Lady beetles can be bought and released into your garden, but since they are migratory insects, they will move to better places without food. For this reason, it is not recommended to add it to your garden this way. In general, if food sources are available, Lady Beetles will appear in your yard. Remember, if you have an ant problem, controlling the ants will help increase the number of female beetles. Ants reduce the population and feed on aphids, thus reducing food for the female beetle.
It is another useful insect repellent. These are small, green insects with large, brightly colored wings. Lacewings offer many of the same benefits as lady beetles, because they feed on lice and other soft-bodied insects, and on larvae, lice also feed on insects. Defective larvae are also shaped and have a brownish tinge and large mandible. Poor people can be encouraged by adding nectar when they eat nectar and pollen.
The last soul I want to say is Manit or Mantis. These crazy-looking insects are usually useful in your garden. However, they also eat other beneficial insects, so they are not as desirable as a ladybug or a scratch. Mantis feed on crickets, flies, other beetles, moths and mosquitoes, so it is important to have them in the garden as a whole. Mantis can be green or brown in color, depending on the size of the camouflage and grow to 3-5 inches in length.
It is also important to remember that bees, wasps and spiders are important to reduce pests in the garden. After learning this, I have a new appreciation for wasps and spiders!
There are a few things you can do to keep pests hanging around your garden and to reduce the number of pests:
- Develop a habit of identifying insects to help determine whether to kill;
- Restricting the use of pesticides; Extensive pesticides are harmful to beneficial insects.
- As a shelter for pruning, or leaving a few leaves under other leaves,
- And the presence of pollen or nectar in your flower.
For more information on plant pests, contact the Morgan County Extension Office Aimee Kanode at 970-542-3542 or Aimee.Kanode@colostate.edu.
Leslie Weinshim, a Morgan County resident, is writing for the Fort Morgan Times and Brush News-Tribune after completing her Colorado Master’s Gardening Program.