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Beneficial Bugs can Help Your Seattle Garden

When Lady Bugs Attack

Ladybug, ladybug, don’t fly away home! Nature has a neat way of keeping things in balance. While all bugs might seem like a nuisance, some are natural garden helpers that control the insects that damage your plants. By using this natural form of pest control, Seattle and Bellevue residents can enjoy the fruits of their labor without using a single drop of chemicals.

Beneficial Predatory Bugs

Ladybug: One of the most beneficial insects for your garden, ladybugs eat aphids, spider mites and mealy bugs when they aren’t hibernating during the winter.

Praying mantis: A mantis will essentially eat anything and everything it can catch. While they usually dine on mites and their eggs, praying mantis will also eat aphids, flies, maggots, grasshoppers, grubs, soft-bodied insects, caterpillars, cinch bugs, beetles, earwigs and more.

Yellow jacket: While yellow jackets are generally considered a good reason to call a pest control company, Bellevue residents can actually benefit from the occasional garden visit from a wasp or two. In addition to eating soft-bodied bugs, like flies and caterpillars, yellow jackets are excellent pollinators.

Spider: Spiders are like live-in exterminators, and if one finds an out-of-the-way spot in your garden to make a web, let it be. Webs masterfully trap garden pests, and spiders are more than happy to help.

How to Attract Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden

One of the simplest forms of pest control Seattle gardeners can practice is to literally have a beautiful organic garden. Beneficial bugs are often attracted to flowers and plants in the Apiaceae (carrot and parsley) family (like Queen Anne’s Lace, parsley, anise, carrot and so on) and those in the Asteraceae (aster, daisy and sunflower) family. Other beneficial flowers include the butterfly weed, coriander, cornflower, fennel, dill, garlic, chamomile and yarrow.

You can physically introduce ladybugs into your garden by purchasing a bag of them from a garden store. You can also purchase praying mantis eggs, but keep in mind that they’ll eat ladybugs, other beneficial bugs and each other if no other food sources are available. Other beneficial bugs are also available via mail order. Once the critters are in your garden, set out a shallow bowl of water as a watering hole and avoid using any pesticides. 

With the help of a pest control company, Bellevue and Seattle residents can learn about the best beneficial insects to eliminate garden pests. Call today for a free inspection.

[ Photo by: jurvetson, on Flickr, via CC License ]

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