No landscape is complete without the presence of all sorts of creepy crawly critters. These bugs are present in nearly every outdoor setting, whether we realize it or not. But when it comes to recognizing which ones are good for our plants and which ones are hurting them, things can get a little tricky. So if you’re wondering if a bug is a friend or foe, here’s a list of 4 good bugs that are keeping your plants alive.
You might think that ladybugs wouldn’t hurt a fly. In reality, that’s actually their main food source. Ladybugs are natural predators of aphids and whiteflies, which attach themselves to certain plants and suck the sap. An infestation of aphids can ruin an entire garden if not treated quickly. So if you see a ladybug in your yard, make sure she finds her their way to your plants!
Wheel bugs look like the triceratops of garden insects, and they’ll protect your landscape with the ferocity of a dinosaur. One of the many bugs lumped under the umbrella group of assassin bugs, wheel bugs are easily recognized by the distinctive cog shape rising out of their back. They feed on certain larger bugs like caterpillars and grasshoppers, as well as some parasites, but may also bite or sting humans if handled inappropriately.
Remember the stories you heard as a child of the stork that brings babies? Wasps are like that, but for plants. LIke bees, wasps are natural pollinators. As they move from flower to flower to feed on the nectar, they also pick up pollen that gets distributed to the other flowers they visit. This pollination is what helps flowers reproduce and carry on with their life cycle.
Like ladybugs and wheel bugs, praying mantises are a predatory species that feeds on pests like aphids, crickets, grasshoppers, and other garden menaces. They are most at home in a bright green leafy environment that matches their vibrant exoskeleton. The one bad thing about praying mantises? They toward indiscriminate tastes, and may at times eat even the good bugs.
Want to learn more about which bugs are good for your landscape? Our team of expert landscapers at ABC Scapes can help identify which bugs are friends and which are foes. Give us a call at 602-404-0568.