The world is full of gardening enthusiasts that pay close attention to the arthropods existing within their gardens. All gardeners are aware of the fact that some insects are beneficial to their gardens, while others are downright damaging. If you have been gardening for a while, then you probably have a pretty detailed and accurate understanding of garden insects. However, even the most seasoned gardener may not be aware of some more obscure types of garden-dwelling insects. In these cases, how is a gardener to know if a strange insect that they let live in their garden will not destroy every plant by dawn?
Green lacewings are tiny green insects that make a great addition to your garden’s ecosystem. Green lacewings pollinate garden-plants while feeding on plant nectar. Green lacewing larvae are predatory and hungry. The larvae go after aphids, which are one of the most damaging type of insect pests. Aphids do not stand a chance of survival once lacewing larvae work up an appetite.
Although not common in all US regions, many gardeners spot praying mantises with some regularity. The gardening benefits that mantises bring to the table have been long disputed. One reason why mantises are normally accepted as desirable garden insects has to do with their predatory ways. Mantises will not think twice about attacking nearby prey, even if the prey is larger than them. But this is about where the gardening benefits of praying mantises end. Praying mantises may eat all of your insect pests quickly, but a mantis will also eat all of your beneficial garden insects too.
Despite a ladybugs interesting and non-threatening appearance, these insects are actually quite cruel. Ladybugs are vicious beetles that eat other harmful insects. For example, ladybug larvae prefer to eat aphids, but the larvae never turn down a convenient meal no matter the type of insect.
What is your favorite type of beneficial gardening insect?