Useful Insects For The Garden And Vegetable Garden: With Photos And Descriptions

Every gardener faces insect pests on his plot every year. Therefore, fighting them is a common thing. As for attracting useful insects to the plot, most gardeners have never even heard of it. But nevertheless, often flowers are planted in the garden, which attract different insect pollinators, such as bumblebees and bees. Most gardeners know that ladybugs eat aphids.

But the larvae and eggs of this useful insect are often destroyed, because they can easily be confused with the offspring of the Colorado potato beetle.

But what other useful insects exist that are recommended to attract to the garden and garden? What are their benefits? Below will be a detailed answer to these questions.

And did you know that useful insects in science are called entomophages. This name is given to anyone whose diet includes insects. Therefore, all gardeners need to know about them, as they can greatly facilitate the work on the plot.

Such predators help to clear the plot of pests without additional costs and harmful chemicals.

Useful insects for pest control

Mantis

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

The mantis stands out because it is a very voracious insect. Moreover, females are particularly voracious during the breeding season. The fact is that during the period of forming and laying eggs they need a large amount of protein. Probably everyone knows that often immediately after mating the female eats the male.

The mantis eats any insects that meet on its way: beetles, crickets, caterpillars, larvae, grasshoppers, flies, etc. At the same time, the larvae of such an insect eat aphids. The female makes her ovipositor in the ootheca (a kind of storage of eggs). The "babies" are born after 30-45 days.

For the mantis to come to your garden or garden it is recommended to plant more legumes, for example: vetch, lupine, peas.

They lay their eggs on peas. And also dill, bushes, marigolds and tall herbaceous plants can attract them to the plot. Most of all, however, it is other insects that attract it to the plot. Where there are a lot of them, as a rule, the mantis can be found there.

Specialists believe that the habitat of these insects moves further north every year.

Today the mantis can be found in Ukraine and southern Russia, as well as in Estonia, Belarus and Latvia. Therefore, it is likely that the time will come when they will reach the middle latitudes.

Many useful insects. 6 fierce protectors of the garden and vegetable garden

Godbugs

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

Every child probably knows that the ladybug is a useful insect. The coloration of these insects is very varied, from the most common red with black dots, to black with red or orange spots.

Aphids are part of the diet of both adults and their larvae. One ladybug is capable of killing 50 to 150 pests in a day. Besides aphids this useful insect eats whiteflies, mealybugs, mites and fleas.

Despite the fact that this insect is very useful, people often, unknowingly, exterminate its offspring. This is due to the fact that the eggs and pupae of the Colorado beetle bear an outward resemblance to the offspring of the Colorado beetle.

In this regard, it is important to know how to recognize ladybug offspring:

  1. The ladybug sets eggs on plants in close proximity to aphids, while the Colorado beetle does so exclusively on the Colorado beetle.
  2. The ladybug has yellowish or yellow colored eggs, while the beetle has orange colored eggs.
  3. The Colorado Beetle larvae are capable of moving, while the pupa of the Ladybird Beetle does not move at all.
  4. The surface of the pupa of the Ladybird Beetle has spots, while the larvae of the Beetle does not.

The adult gets under leaf litter, withered grass or in the peeled off bark on trees for overwintering.

Such an insect is found everywhere. There are years when the reproduction of ladybugs is particularly rapid, resulting in a significant increase in their numbers in the area.

Gallica aphidimiza

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

Gallica aphidimiza is a very small fly measuring 0.2-0.3 centimeters.

Externally, it looks very similar to a common pest. Its larvae are transparent, so they are extremely difficult to see. But despite their size, the larvae actively destroy aphids by eating them.

The larva eats the aphids for 15 days, after which it changes its coloration to orange, yellow, or pale red (depending on which variety of aphid it is). The larva then falls to the soil surface and forms a cocoon.

The second generation of aphids emerges from the cocoon 20 days later.

There is no need to use any special methods to attract aphids to your area because they can be found wherever there are aphids. However, experts advise against chemical pesticides since they can kill absolutely all insects.

Bugworm

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

Bugworm is a metallic, black or yellow with a tint. It is very nimble.

In order for an adult beetle to get enough to eat, it needs three times as much food as it weighs itself. The diet of this predator includes hawthorns, moths, various worms (including wireworms), slugs, caterpillars of fruit moths, moths and fly larvae. During a season one adult of the beetle eats about three hundred caterpillars.

The beetle makes its ovipositions in small holes in the soil. The larvae look like worms with thoracic legs and jaws.

Like adult beetles, they are voracious and agile. During daylight hours, they take shelter from daylight. Larvae hunt after dark, seeking food both in the ground and on its surface.

Specialists have found not only ground beetles, but also volatile and woody species. They use small worms and insects as food.

In this regard, it is not uncommon to find beetles in compost.

This beetle is ubiquitous, with the greatest liking for moist soil. In dachas, they often hibernate under a wood pile or a house, or they may crawl under a pile of stones or sawdust.

Please note that there are some species of bread beetles that are harmful to grain crops. However, if there are no cereals on your property, then you should not be afraid of them.

The ant pest beetle

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

The ant pest beetle has a very striking coloration. Its appearance resembles that of an ant or a bee. Therefore, it is also commonly referred to as an ant beetle or a bee beetle. However, the bee-eater is very dangerous for the apiary, because its larvae use bee eggs and bee sprouts as food, and they can also damage the hive itself.

But the bee-eater is a very useful insect.

It lives on a tree trunk and looks for food there. Because of this, every gardener is happy to see such beetles in his garden. These insects are also often called "bark wolves". Their diet includes such pests as bark beetles, bark beetles, weevils, moustache beetles, barnacles together with their larvae.

The larvae of anteaters live under the wood bark.

In doing so, they forage for food by following the same routes under the bark as the pests do. This useful insect is mainly found on forest trees. If you meet this insect never drive it away, especially do not kill it.

Fire beetle (red-legged softbelly)

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

Fire beetle is a red or black-red colored beetle that is not fastidious in food. It mainly eats small-sized insects.

Adult beetles still feed on nectar and pollen of flowers, and they can also chew on leaves. However, their larvae are true predators. They gladly eat caterpillars, small mollusks, aphids, flies, as well as larvae and eggs of other insects.

Such beetles can certainly harm plants, but still they are much more useful. That is why it is not recommended to drive them out of your plot.

And in order to attract the red-legged softbug to your garden or vegetable garden, it is necessary to plant a variety of flowers-medicinal plants. It is worth considering that most of these insects live in places with a cold or temperate climate. They settle under bushes and trees, but only if you refuse to dig the soil and clean up fallen leaves under them. Some fire beetles choose rotten wood as a home.

The murrelet (Sirfa)

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

The murrelet is so named because it is able to hover in the air right as it flies and in doing so it makes a murmuring sound.

The appearance of the hoverbill is very similar to that of a wasp, making it easy to confuse the two. Adults use pollen and nectar as food, but larvae include small caterpillars and aphids in their diet. This is why they are very useful for the garden and vegetable garden.

The adult female sets up her oviposition directly in the aphid colony. The larvae emerge from the eggs after only a few days.

Then they immediately start looking for food. These voracious larvae prey only at night. It takes about 14 days for a larva to become a pupa. During this time, a single larva can eat about 700 aphids.

Just plants with yellow flowers are particularly attractive to hoverflies.

It is also attracted to other honeybees such as lavender, zinnia, daisies or asters.

Lacewort (fleur-de-lis)

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

The lacewort is a very valuable entomophage and therefore has been specially cultivated for many years in an effort to increase its numbers. Such an insect is excellent at protecting various crops from pests, including aphids. Common lacewing larvae are very expensive, but every dacha owner is quite capable of attracting such a useful insect to his plot.

In appearance, the fleur-de-lis looks very spectacular and cute.

However, if you take it in your hands, you can feel an extremely unpleasant smell. The fact is that this is a defensive reaction of the insect. In this way it drives away enemies.

But of particular interest to the dacha owner are the larvae of the flernitsa, which with pleasure eat aphids and differ by their voraciousness. Adult females arrange their oviposits specifically on very thin stems.

This allows the larvae to drop down as soon as they emerge from the egg and immediately begin their feeding mission. This prevents the larvae from eating each other. It is extremely difficult for other predators to reach the ovipositor on a very thin stem.

Larvae are active at any time of the day or night, while adults are active only at night. Larvae are also called "aphid lions" because they are very insatiable.

During the time it takes for the larva to become an adult, it will kill about four hundred aphids. During the summer period, one or two generations of the aphid lionfly emerge in mid-latitudes, and about four generations in southern latitudes.

The adults are green during the warm season, but turn brown in winter. They choose secluded places for hibernation. Not infrequently they creep into dwellings where they can overwinter undisturbed.

They may also overwinter in boxes filled with straw, which you may prepare in advance and place in the yard.

Predatory bugs

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

In nature, you may encounter many different predatory bugs. But there are also plant-eating bugs. It is difficult to know which one is a predator. But some bed bugs are so active in destroying pests that they are bred in biological laboratories and used in agriculture.

For example, the anthocoris. It reproduces very quickly and is also voracious. According to experts, this bug is capable of destroying up to 95 percent of fruit mites' ovipositing eggs in winter in a garden. In addition, its diet includes fruit moths, thrips, aphids, leafhoppers and leafminers. Both adults and larvae kill the pests.

There is also the oryus bug, which is very similar to the anthocoris. It is often used in industrial greenhouses. It is valued for its ability to kill whiteflies, spider mites, thrips and aphids quickly. Two or three generations of such a mite may be produced during the summer period.

Pale-colored small hunting bugs are often seen on herbaceous plants and on shrubs.

Slowly moving through bushes, they exterminate larvae, eggs and caterpillars of other insects as well as aphids and thrips.

Bug flies

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

Bug flies differ greatly from other flies. Its strong well-developed legs are equipped with bristles and suction cups. It has an elongated abdomen and a flattened head. Its proboscis is very strong and can easily pierce the shell of a beetle.

Because of this, the pincushion flies are not afraid of anyone, and their diet includes all pests, including wasps, May beetles, and dragonflies. The larvae of such flies also have an excellent appetite. They look for prey in the ground and devour various larvae with pleasure. At the same time, the larvae of the bill may devour each other.

In the territory of the Russian Federation, however, these insects occur infrequently.

At the same time, some species (e.g., humpback whale) have been inscribed in the Red Book. Therefore, such flies should be protected.

Tahina flies (hedgehogs)

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

The hedgehog is also a beneficial fly, also referred to as a hedgehog.

It is popularly nicknamed so because its body is covered with hairs that stick out in different directions like hedgehog needles.

The life style of this insect is parasitic. Females lay their eggs directly on the caterpillars of other insects. There are also such species, which lay eggs on a plant with a large number of larvae eating it. As a result, when the plant is eaten, the urchin's eggs will go directly inside the larvae.

And there are also species that establish oviposition on the soil, with the larvae searching for their prey.

Development of the arugula larva occurs thanks to the "host", as a result of which the latter dies. This is a useful property of such an insect. The fact is that the ichneumon flies parasitize on the caterpillars of various butterflies, as well as on the larvae of weevils, sawfly beetles, codling beetles, wood beetles, bedbugs, etc.

Aged adults look for food on flowering plants, they prefer dill, lovage, thyme, cougar and coriander most of all.

They prefer to live in the vicinity of water bodies and choose well sunlit areas. They may be encountered anywhere.

Hitchhogs

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

Hitchhogs have a life style similar to that of hedgehogs. They get their name from the fact that the female mounts her oviposition like a horse on a larva or a caterpillar. She pierces the caterpillar's body with her ovipositor and places the oviposition right inside it.

As a result, the caterpillar becomes food for the offspring of the moth, as a result of which it dies. Ovipositors often choose cabbage caterpillars, fly larvae, and aphids as their prey.

Egg-loving ichneumonids (tiny) as well as ichneumonids (large) occur. The most widely known ovipositors are Telenomus and Trichogramma. They are specially bred in laboratories and then used to kill pests in greenhouses or fields.

One female is capable of laying about 200 eggs per cycle.

Heateaters, like most beneficial insects, prefer to live on umbrella plants such as cilantro, cumin, dill, etc.

Common wasp

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

Common wasp is widely distributed in temperate latitudes, so it can be found in almost all Russian regions. However, not every dacha owner will agree to have a wasp nest on his property. In addition to the fact that adult wasps can sting a person, so they also suck the juice of fruits and berries.

But despite this, wasps can also be useful. The fact is that wasp larvae feed on protein food supplied to them by the adult. The most common foods are moths, flies, caterpillars and larvae. If wasps did not exist, there would be many more flies.

It is quite possible to live "amicably" with wasps, but only if there are no small children in the vegetable garden or garden.

As a rule, wasps will only attack someone who disturbs them. In this case, the habituation to the smell of the human body occurs very quickly. However, there is an opinion that a wasp can take revenge on the offender. For example, if you crushed one wasp and at the same time did not remove it from a prominent place, it may well be that its brethren attacked you. That is why some experienced gardeners advise, not to kill a wasp that flew into the room, but to try to let it go outside.

To do this, you can open a window and put some kind of sweet or a piece of meat on the windowsill.

Staphylines

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

You can also come across staphylines, which are beetles that have short upper wings. They also have an unprotected abdomen, which they raise up like scorpions in case of danger. In this way they try to frighten their enemy.

In most species of staphylines, both adults and larvae are predators.

This insect is most often found in dark, secluded places, for example: in animal burrows, under rocks, under the trunk of a fallen tree, in manure, in anthills, in the ground, in forest litter, under boards, in compost and even in mushrooms.

diet includes pupae flies beetles mites small mollusks millipedes caterpillars wasp larvae.>

Stethorus

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

Stethorus is also called a "mite bug" because this small-sized bug eats spider mites. Both larvae and adults feed on mites. During its entire life, one individual can eat about 2 thousand spider mites.

Often these beneficial insects are killed by agents used to treat plants against mites.

The fact is that the mite is extremely difficult to see, because its length is only about 0.1-0.15 cm. In this regard, experts advise, first inspect the bush with a magnifying glass, and then conduct its spraying from the mite. If you see black glossy bugs on the plant, you do not need to treat it.

Such a bug will destroy the mites on its own.

Dragonfly

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

You can meet spectacular and very fast dragonflies on almost any body of water. Because these insects are very fast and do not sit still, they need a lot of energy. Therefore, their diet includes protein food: beetles, moths, flies, butterflies, mosquitoes, etc. They grab their prey right on the fly.

Eggs are laid by the female in close proximity to water: on an aquatic plant or in the ground. The larvae live in standing water. They gladly eat the larvae of mosquitoes, crustaceans and other small water inhabitants. These insects are found almost all over the Russian Federation.

The earwig

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

The earwig (miteschaka) is popularly considered the garden and vegetable garden sanitizer.

The fact is that it is an omnivore. It gladly eats both living and dead small insects, as well as decomposing organics and common plants. Also this insect cleans the site from dahlia moths, small larvae, aphids and spider mites.

However, this does not mean that the earwig is a very useful insect. The fact is that it can affect seedlings, flower petals and young shoots.

As a rule, the earwigs have enough food in the vegetable garden, but if there are too many of them, they can harm cucumbers, peas and even potatoes.

As a rule, earwigs are most active at night. In case of a threat, they are able to bite a human rather painfully. Such a bite is particularly dangerous for allergy sufferers.

They will help you in your garden ✔️ Useful insects in the garden

How to attract useful insects to your garden

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

Even if there are many pests in your garden or vegetable garden it does not mean that crowds of "predators" will immediately rush into it.

Numerous aphids can completely destroy your currants, with ladybugs spending a lot of time and effort in the neighboring plot looking for food.

This is because beneficial insects need shelter first, so they are attracted to tall herbaceous plants as well as flowering crops. It is rare to find even a small corner of a plot untouched by the hand of man. That is why dacha owners themselves should try to recreate a corner that will be as close to nature as possible.

Wild hedge on the plot

Barberry, elderberry, lilac, snowberry, hawthorn and hazelnut are recommended for its creation.

You can also use low shrubs such as: spirea, lapwort, or rose hips. If there is enough space, then you can plant birch, spruce or lime. Lacewings, predatory bugs and ladybugs often settle in hedges.

Umbrella plants in a plot

In this case it is advisable to grow dill, cumin, lovage, coriander, fennel and parsley on the plot. These plants can attract fire beetles, raiders and hedgehogs.

Grow honeybees

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

Create a flower bed of honeybees on the plot: buckwheat, willow, Hypericum, calendula, phacelia, daisy, tansy, marigold, etc. Such plants are very attractive to bees, raiders, predatory bugs, bumblebees, wasps, ladybugs and flies. It is important that the flowering of such honey-bearing plants lasts throughout the season (one plant replaces the other). It is also advisable to make sure to plant a yellow flowering plant.

Spicy herbs

Grow melissa, valerian, mint, thyme, oregano and tarragon on the plot.

Legumes

If you plant even some legume sideradas (vetch, lucerne or clover) on the plot, the benefits will be great. You'll have a highly nutritious fertilizer after mowing the grass, and you'll also have "predators" moving from flowers to trees where there are lots of caterpillars.

Flowering weeds

Don't remove all the flowering weeds from the bed, leave at least two. This way a few dandelions will not harm the crops, but will attract beneficial insects and pollinators. Dandelions also help cucumbers grow faster.

Compost pile and mulch of mulch in bedding circles

Decaying organic matter is home to staphylins, earthworms, beetles and hummingbird flies.

Lay out shelter materials on the site

Boards, piles of fallen leaves, rounded and flat rocks, pieces of tree bark, wood shavings, etc. Such materials can be used by predatory insects for overwintering or as shelter from sunlight.

Build overwintering shelters

Useful insects for the garden and vegetable garden: with photos and descriptions

You can prepare special "houses" for beneficial insects in which they can overwinter. For example, a house made of natural materials for beetles will be a site decoration and will attract insects.

To keep predatory insects, you will have to completely abandon pesticide preparations. The fact is that they destroy practically all insects both useful and harmful.

But remember that predatory insects will never destroy all pests, but will regulate their number. Therefore, they will always be on your property, but they will be few. So if you are willing to "sacrifice" a small part of your crop, then you can safely start attracting entomophages to your garden or vegetable garden.

Beneficial Insects! 6 Fierce Garden and Garden Defenders

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