Thursday, September 17, 2009

Garden Visitors and Beneficial Insects

Today, I found a toad in my garden. He was napping in the flower pot that I had placed in the beans to attract toads. Ben and I often find toads in front of our shed. Toads help decrease the amount of unwanted insects and bugs. However, not all insects and bugs are bad! Some beneficial insects are
  • Assassin Bugs - These queer insects are both ugly and helpful. They have an unusual appetite for pests. However, they have a painful bite which is sometimes infectious and disease spreading.
  • Earth Worms - They dig through the soil, tilling it up. They also help add nutrients back to the ground.
  • Garden Spiders - They catch insects of all types.
  • Green Lacewings - The larvae is commonly known as the "aphid lion". It eats not only aphids, but also leaf hopper nymphs, spider mites and caterpillar eggs.
  • Hoverfly (Also called syrphid flies.) - Their larvae eat aphids and other small pests
  • Ladybugs - Both the larvae and the adult are helpful in eating aphids and other soft bodied pests.
  • Minute Pirate Bugs - Thrips, tiny caterpillars and aphids make up this little predator's diet. They love high temperatures and high humidity.
  • Parasitic Wasps - The most beneficial type of wasps are parasitic wasps. They lay their eggs on cabbage worms, cutworms and others pests.
  • Praying Mantis - Though considered a beneficial insect, praying mantises do not know the difference between beneficial insects and pests. ALL insects that move are fair prey to them!
  • Spined Soldier Bug - A member of the stinkbug family, the spined soldier bug harpoons and kills its prey.
A good place for some pictures of the beneficial insects is Veggie Gardener.

I am going to be posting once a week through out the winter months. I hope to post on some things to help get ready for next year's garden! Don't forget to stop by this winter for a visit!


  1. Anna. We were going to try and grow a winter garden this year. For instance... lettuce carrots etc. Do you have any advice?
    In Christ,
    P.s. I really liked your thing on the bugs!

  2. I have thought about making a greenhouse type cover. I wonder if you could grow something indoors in pots in the basement? Have you thought about ever doing that?