Everywhere you look for tips on gardening, you learn about nets, pesticides, and other techniques of keeping living things from invading your garden. They come in hordes during the growing season and seem to know just when to appear (just when your plants are starting to show maturity). Many garden owners worry that they will soon have nothing left of their precious produce.

They needn’t worry so much though. Not every insect is bad for your garden. In fact, many of them are nature’s way of countering the bad bugs.

Lady bugs

Aphids suck the life out of leaves, create opportunities for mold, and transfer diseases from plant to plant. They multiply like crazy and hang around the stems good insects of plants. Lady bugs move in and consume aphid populations. Each adult lady bug can each eat up to 50 of them a day. Within no time at all, an invasion of lady bugs will take care of your problem for you.

Other beetles (like ground beetles) also help remove the aphid population.

Hover flies

These flies imitate the look of a honeybee. They lay their eggs near soft-bodied insects (like aphids) so their children will have a vast supply of nourishment when they hatch, cleaning up your garden.

Lacewings

Lacewings themselves eat pollen and nectar, spreading the love around the garden. Their larvae are the insect invasion you’re looking for though. These larvae crawl around your plants, looking for aphids, caterpillars, mealybugs, insect eggs, whiteflies, and leafhoppers. They eat just about anything, except for your plants.

Lacewing invasions are a sign that your garden is in better hands.

Parasitic wasps

Their name demeans their noble work. They work day in and day out to rid your garden of corn earworms, tomato fruit worms, tent caterpillars, and cabbageworm. They are small creatures that lay up to 300 eggs in the eggs of moths or butterflys (convenient huh?). They are mail order to your door. Be careful when you release them though as they live very short lives. You need to time their release when your pests are laying their eggs.

These are just a few of the carnivorous bugs out there that will invade your garden for no extra cost, take care of your pest problem, and be on their merry way without so much as an invoice or a complaint. Not every bug invasion is bad. In fact, you can often incubate a bug invasion of your own by purchasing some of these bugs (when the wild ones somehow miss your garden). Learn to identify the good ones and the bad ones. Attract the good ones for your plants’ safety.

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