Beneficial Insects

Walking through a farmer’s market a while back I happened to notice a lot of stink bug damage to vegetables in a few vendor sites. That reminded me that the insect kingdom usually gets a black eye because of the damage caused by the different species of ‘bugs’. Not all insects are bad. Here is a partial list of beneficial insects.

  • Aphid Midges – can attack over sixty types of aphid species.
  • Braconid Wasps – females lay eggs in the body of tomato hornworms which the larva then consumes as their first meals.
  • Calosoma Beetle – hard-shelled, 2-inch long, loves to eat caterpillars.
  • Damsel Bugs – thrive on caterpillars, mites, aphids, potato beetles and cabbage worms.
  • Green Lacewings – do an excellent job of controlling soft-bellied pests such as aphids, whitefly, leafhopper, mealybugs and caterpillars.
  • Hover Fly –  larvae feeds on aphids, scale insects and caterpillars.
  • Ichneumon Fly – lays eggs in caterpillars and their pupae, which the young fly then consumes.
  • Lady  Bug – eats its weight in aphids each day.
  • Mealy Bug Destroyer – one mealy bug destroyer can eat up to 250 mealybugs larvae.
  • Minute Pirate Bugs – both the immature stages and adults prey on a variety of small insects such as spider mites, insect eggs, caterpillars,aphids and thrips.
  • Praying Mantis – feasts on many insects pests, including mosquitoes.
  • Predatory Mites – consumes spider mites while feeding on the pollen of plants and not the plant itself, when there are no spider mites around.
  • Soldier Beetles – feed on grasshopper eggs, aphids and other soft-bodied insects.
  • Spiders – feed on a large range including bed bugs, aphids, caterpillars, grasshoppers and fruit flies.
  • Tachinid Flies – consume gypsy moths, Japanese beetles, cutworms and squash bugs.
  • Wheel Bugs – preys on soft-shelled pests.

Keep your fork

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