Beneficial bugs

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Bugs are wonderful garden helpers. Encourage beneficial bugs to live in your garden by using Integrated Pest Management methods and a new generation of pest management materials.

Look out for ladybugs, one of the most beneficial insects in the garden. It is estimated that adult ladybugs each consume around 5,000 aphids in their lifetime. Ladybugs also eat mealybugs, scales and spiders – and best of all, both the adult and larval stages are predatory. In its larval stage, a ladybug looks rather like a dark six-legged crocodile with orange spots on its back.

Lacewings, which look as pretty as their name suggests, eat aphids, scales mites, caterpillars and other unwelcome insects. If you see a white- or yellow-and-black striped fly hovering over flowerheads, it is probably a hover fly. It also enjoys a meal of aphids and should be welcomed.

There are many plants that will encourage beneficial insects to settle in your space. Here are some suggestions: Cornflower or bachelor button; sweet alyssum; borage and golden marguerite.

Click here for more information on beneficial insects.