Typically when we think about pests, the words “useful” and “necessary” don’t come to mind. Sure, there are some little critters that will eat through your gardens and grass, but pests are not always the enemy. There are some pests that will actually help your lawn to flourish. Encouraging the right types of bugs into your yard can also help with battling the wrong types. So before you pick up that bug spray, read on to learn about the 5 best pests for your lawn.
Ladybugs (Lady Beetles)
Okay, maybe none of us are truly scared of ladybugs and some might even call them cute, but they’re more than just attractive lawn decorations, they’re helpful too. Welcome them into your yard and they’ll feast on aphids (also known as plant lice) and other pests that tend to eat away at your garden. Ladybugs don’t harm other good bugs or plants, and should be a welcome addition to any yard.
These brown and black shelled beetles will try to eat just about anything that moves, including: asparagus beetles, cabbage worms, cutworms, and slugs. This is a good thing because all of the aforementioned pests will eat through your plants resulting in an unsightly garden. Ground beetles like decaying plant matter, so attract them by using plenty of mulch in your garden. Note - don’t use pesticides, as this will kill them.
Now this is a delicate winged predator you’ll want on your side. Lacewings are insatiable and can eat soft-bodied insects up to 20 times faster than the ladybug. In their larvae form, they can consume up to 200 aphids and other harmful pests in just a week. Attract lacewings with small, modest flowers as these contain more pollen than those of the ornamental variety.
Hoverflies (Flower Flies)
These harmless insects are often mistaken for bees because of their similar, striped appearance. The easiest way to spot the difference is to watch the way they move; hoverflies tend to hover in one spot (hence their name). Their larvae will attack aphids and other harmful insects. A hoverfly larvae can eat 400 aphids before they reach adulthood. Attract these beneficial insects with pollen-rich flower and herbs.
These pollinators are absolutely essential in supporting flowering plant life but sadly, their populations are declining. For this reason, honeybees should always be welcomed into your yard and not shooed away. Honeybees love wildflowers, flowering herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Plant all of these and not only will the honeybees thank you, your plants will too. Note - if you see your plants flower, leave the flower intact rather than chopping them off so that the bees can successfully pollinate it.
As you can see, not all bugs are bad. There are several pests that can actually help your lawn and garden thrive. Welcome them into your yard and you’ll have a flourishing ecosystem that you can be proud of. You can read about the bad pests here. If you ever have any questions or concerns on which pests are good or bad, one of our many experienced contractors would be happy to assist you!