As the warmer months converge on us, so do the bugs and gardens of summer. During these months, many insects make themselves known in home gardens across the world. Some insects see gardens as a feast in waiting; the result is usually plants and crops being eaten at will. However, not all insects are looking to eat carrot greens and bite holes in foliage; in fact, some insects are helpful in keeping a garden healthy. This article compiles the top insects that you should not kill.
Ladybugs are of the beetle family and can have some really positive effects on the gardens that they inhabit.
The first way ladybugs are beneficial to your garden is by keeping out pesky aphids. When aphids are not put in check, they can quickly destroy much of the leafy greens in a garden. They suck the sap and slowly kill whatever leaf they are currently feeding on. Ladybugs not only stop aphids in their tracks but also take care of other pests like mites.
Killing pests is not the only way ladybugs help in the garden. They are also excellent pollinators and help with the reproduction of plants. By feeding on the nectar of flowers, they carry pollen to other flowers, helping them reproduce.
As you can see, the ladybug is a dual threat to many negative factors when they are allowed to live in the garden.
Bees have been a hot topic of debate due to the decline in the population in the past couple of years, and for good reason. They are number three on our list of insects you should not kill, not because of the population decline but because of how incredible they are at pollinating plants.
Bees are, far and wide, the best pollinators the world has available to it. This act is not only good for wild plants, but it can really boost the productivity of your garden, especially if it is a vegetable garden. By spreading the pollen from one flower to another using the little hairs attached to it, the yield increases exponentially compared to a garden without bees.
While they are helping the yield of vegetable gardens by being such wonderful pollinators, they effectively help soil erosion by keeping plants fertile and healthy. Finally, they also improve the water quality for the plants in your garden.
Bees are, in effect, just drinking nectar and saving your garden simultaneously. What an incredible little helper.
The ladybug and the bee are insects you can see, but what about the insects working behind the scenes to make your garden grow to the best of their ability? The earthworm is a behind-the-scenes stagehand that ensures the soil quality of your garden is the best it can be.
The earthworm spends its days digging around in the soil, eating up organic matter. When expelled, this matter, known as “castings,” becomes a viable source for plants to gain nutrients from. This process, known as decomposition, makes it easier for plants to absorb as it breaks the material into simpler components.
When the earthworm is moving through the soil having their lunch, they are also digging tunnels and aerating the ground itself. These tunnels give air and water pathways to travel, making it easier for root systems to do what they need to do in order to keep the plant alive and well.
When a garden has earthworms in it, it is essentially like adding multiple lanes to a traffic jam, creating more accessible ways for nutrients to travel as well as filling the soil itself with nutrient-rich components. The earthworm is an all-time do not kill when it comes to insects in the garden.
1. Praying Mantis
The praying mantis is an apex predator, to put it plainly. These insects have been known to eat all types of bugs and even small mammals. If you want anyone to be guarding your garden, it is the praying mantis.
If there is a pest in your garden, then you probably do not have a praying mantis in it. These alien-looking insects will devour anything that wants to devour your garden. If you are trying to grow an organic garden and are faced with any crop-eating bug, the praying mantis is your best bet.
The praying mantis is known for its ambush style of attacking prey. The mantis uses their hind legs to balance and forearms to pounce when a target is in its area, reacting with lightning-fast reflexes.
Not only is the praying mantis a great option to reduce pests in your garden, but they are also proactive in pollinating the flowers in your garden as well. They kill the bad things and help the good grow; what else could you ask for?
There are simply very few predators quite like the praying mantis in terms of hunting effectiveness; that is why you should never kill a praying mantis in your garden. They are harmless to humans but an absolute death sentence for any insect that wants to cause havoc in your growing space.