A new blog post by Jami Castleton, brought to you from our friends over at Admiral Pest Control
Keeping a balanced ecosystem in your garden is essential if you want to avoid pesticides. So what’s the best way to protect your plants without chemicals? Find a few allies—attract good bugs like ladybugs and praying mantises to help you battle pests.
In order to attract the right bugs (and keep them in your garden) you need to create a comfortable place for them. Provide what they need, and they’ll come.
Ladybug: If you have a good ladybug population in your garden, you won’t have to worry about aphids. The ladybug considers aphids as a delectable meal, but it also eats pollen. If you want a ladybug-filled garden, you have to provide plants that provide both food sources. The following plants will invite ladybugs to their next feast:
Queen Anne’s Lace: This wild carrot plant attracts plenty of aphids and other bugs, which in turn, attracts ladybugs.Fennel: This herb has many uses, including aromatherapy, and it’s often used for cooking. Ladybugs love this flower because of its smell and taste. It also attracts other bugs that ladybugs love to feed on.Marigolds: Marigolds won’t only add color to your garden, but marigolds provide plenty of pollen for ladybugs to eat. Plus they also attract their other favorite snack: aphids.
Praying Mantis: The prey mantis may look a little bizarre, but they’re angels for your garden. They eat aphids, flies, mosquitoes, and they are the only predator that will hunt moths during the night. However, they do not rely on pollen. So if you want a prey mantis to reside in your garden, have plants that attract other insects. But be careful, the praying mantis doesn’t distinguish between “good” and “bad” bugs. It’ll eat what it can catch.
Roses: Prey mantis are attracted to these pretty plants because of the abundance of other insects that take advantage of its petals. So if you have a rose garden, pray mantis will help prevent those beautiful petals from wilting. The good news for your rose bush is that the praying mantis will settle in.Tall Grasses- The mantis love to hide where they camouflage the most, and tall green or yellow grass is the best place to hide and find shelter. So having your garden next to the pasture may give it the best advantage.
So as you’re planting this spring, consider what plants will attract your allies (ladybugs and praying mantises). Not only will you have a more diverse and colorful garden, but you will also have healthy plants and a balanced ecosystem.