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