The Medics in the Garden: How Not to Confuse Beneficial Insects With Pests

The long-awaited summer season filled our gardens with bright colors and wonderful aromas. How pleasant and serene would be the country living in their native acres, if not for the huge army of insects, which also rushed to the garden to “admire” the beauty of the country. But do not rush to grab the sprayer, and take a closer look at the insects flying and crawling around the cultivated plants. Perhaps the main part of them are our faithful assistants – garden orderlies who will help to overcome the remaining pests without the use of insecticides.

Ladybug

Red spots knows this bug in the “face” of each of us, in childhood, with funny songs sent the ladybug to the sky. But if you notice today such an insect on your site, you should not accompany him on a long journey. This garden assistant will easily save you from having to fight aphids.

The Medics in the Garden: How Not to Confuse Beneficial Insects With Pests

In our climate zone is home to over 70 species of this insect is red and gold ladybug with black spots, dark specimens with pale spots, monochrome copies, etc. a Favorite delicacy of most of them – aphids. In just a day 1 beetle is able to devour up to 60 specimens of the pest every day. And such a good appetite is inherent not only in an adult insect, but also its larvae.

The Medics in the Garden: How Not to Confuse Beneficial Insects With Pests

Stethorus

This tiny mobile garden orderly who will be your lifesaver in the fight against Tetranychidae. Both imago and larvae of this beetle actively devour ticks, exterminating up to 2000 individuals during their life.

The Medics in the Garden: How Not to Confuse Beneficial Insects With Pests

Since the stethorus has a rather small size (1-1.5 mm), summer residents often do not notice it. But if you look closely at the places where tetranychidae settled, you can find there and these black shiny bugs. Wait with the treatment of plants with chemicals, tick cows for a few days will save planting from the pest.

Aphidoletes aphidimyza

Most members of this family are familiar to gardeners with their harmfulness. But among them there is one useful species – Aphidoletes aphidimyza, larvae which will stand on your side and help a couple with ladybugs deal with the ubiquitous aphids.

The Medics in the Garden: How Not to Confuse Beneficial Insects With Pests

The imago of this garden nurse is like tiny flies, and the hatched transparent larvae are even more imperceptible. Later, the larvae are painted in yellow, orange or red shades (the color is determined by the variety of aphids eaten) and upon closer examination of the places of accumulation of pests signal us with their bright color — everything is under control!

The Medics in the Garden: How Not to Confuse Beneficial Insects With Pests

Carabidae

This rather large black beetle (up to 4 cm) can rightly be called one of the main assistants of the gardener. His diet includes a variety of pests.

The Medics in the Garden: How Not to Confuse Beneficial Insects With Pests

During the day Carabidae are rare, they go hunting only after dark: we sleep, and they are fighting with a large army of garden and garden enemies. Not less honor deserve and their larvae which differ in unprecedented appetites concerning insects objectionable to us.

Syrphidae

Larvae of Syrphidae actively devour aphids, settled on the shoots of cultural plantations. They bring significant benefits to the cottagers, who are often confused with adult hoverflies wasps. But to distinguish them among themselves is not so difficult: this bright striped fly flies much faster than a wasp, and often hangs in the air, while issuing a “murmuring” sound.

The Medics in the Garden: How Not to Confuse Beneficial Insects With Pests

Chrysopidae

Among the representatives of this family gardens are most often attractive for Chrysoperla carnea. Larvae of this insect (and sometimes “mothers”) settle in places of accumulation of aphids and actively eat it.

The Medics in the Garden: How Not to Confuse Beneficial Insects With Pests

The adult Chrysopidae resembles a miniature moth, has a pale green color, transparent wings with a span of up to 3 cm and yellow eyes. Each larva that destroys the gentle creatures for the short development cycle of about 500 aphids and thanks to the extraordinary extravagance called the “trevim lion”.

Forficula auricularia

Forficula auricularia – one of the most famous representatives of the brotherhood of garden nurses. This brown insect is up to 2.5 cm long and has very powerful claws located at the end of the body. With them, it captures and holds its prey.

The Medics in the Garden: How Not to Confuse Beneficial Insects With Pests

Forficula auricularia is very gluttonous in respect to insects, but it is omnivorous and sometimes brings no benefit and harm: massively bred insects that spoil the fruit and the root system of cultivated plants.

Pyrrhocoris apterus

Females of catchy Pyrrhocoris apterus, also called firebug, die in pairs with males immediately after mating and oviposition. But soon the eggs hatch into numerous dark larvae, pubescent with hard hairs and resembling miniature beads. They immediately begin to eat a variety of small insects – aphids, flies, larvae and caterpillars of garden pests. Do not destroy these agile beetles, their larvae will do you a good service!

The Medics in the Garden: How Not to Confuse Beneficial Insects With Pests

How to attract beneficial insects to the garden

To attract to the area such beneficial predators in the spring I will plant more dill, thyme, daisies and sunflowers, and in the course of the season place in the garden of the fragrant weed, for example, tansy and yarrow. The more fragrant and flowering plants in the garden, the better – they attract such helpers.

A great garden home for nurses will be a small handful of wood shavings, chips or shredded bark. Many of them like to relax near decorative garden ponds, hiding in the crevices of small rocky expositions.

The Medics in the Garden: How Not to Confuse Beneficial Insects With Pests

If after pruning the trees at your disposal were thick branches or hemp, select the time and drill them in numerous holes, and then spread these “houses” in different parts of the suburban area. In the autumn should not so carefully raking the earth with fallen leaves and crop residues – they arranged to spend the winter our true friends. Do not be lazy after the harvest of corn, tie-in “bouquets” to clean the cobs and hang them in the garden or lay on the beds – these “houses” are favorite shelters ladybirds and stethorus in the colder months.

The Medics in the Garden: How Not to Confuse Beneficial Insects With Pests

An excellent option for wintering garden assistants will be cardboard tubes, clogged on the one hand and connected by several pieces – such shelters need to be horizontally laid out in secluded areas of the garden, protected from moisture. Replace the tubes can be bundles cut into pieces of reed stems, reeds or other plants with hollow shoots. Also for this purpose, the usual flower pots stuffed with straw or shavings are perfect.

The insect world is so diverse and amazing! And not all representatives of these living beings pose a threat to our garden. Therefore, before you destroy all insects on your dacha with the help of lethal chemicals, think about how justified this method of pest control. Maybe it’s time to reconsider your tactics and listen to the wisdom of nature?

The Medics in the Garden: How Not to Confuse Beneficial Insects With Pests

By creating favorable conditions for the garden nurses at the dacha, it is possible to protect cultivated plants in a natural way and completely abandon the use of insecticides, which cause damage not only to insects, but also to our health. List all useful insects in one article is hardly possible, so if you are familiar with any other garden nurses, tell us about them in the comments. And be sure to share with us your experience and secrets to attract useful insects to the suburban area.

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