A bug, squash it!!!! Many still think that way, but it is changing.
I was thinking about this very thing this morning. It really was not that long ago where you would Google “Insects in the garden” and you would get nothing but links for pesticide companies.
Ortho Bug B Gon kills 235 different insects according to their advertising, including ants, bees, caterpillars, earwigs, fleas, flies, grasshoppers, hornets, millipedes, mosquitoes, moths, scorpions, stinkbugs, ticks, and yellow Jackets. I am rather surprised they mention bees considering how we gardeners feel about bees. Notice they don’t say butterflies? This type of insecticide does not care if an insect is a pollinator, predator or parasitic insect. All are “‘multiple feet up” after an application.
There still are pesticide companies listed in search, but more and more you will find articles on attracting insects rather than annihilating them.
Now we look at seeing pest insects more as integrated pest management where beneficial insects take charge to have a healthy ecosystem. Beneficial insects can be bought now too, but releasing purchased insects may rid your yard of naturally occurring “good” insects through competition and predation. A praying mantis is not too picky on what it has for dinner. I am not too keen on buying insects.
The funny thing about insects in general is that we may deem some as bad bugs, the truth is without the bad bugs the good bugs would not be there lapping them up. The birds would not be there either at nesting time. Some sites list the ten best beneficial insects, but really even destructive insects have their place. They make great eats for many other creatures.
I especially like those insects that crawl around recycling and eliminating garden waste, making my soil healthy.
No photos of those crawling soil critters because, well, they just make lousy photo subjects. I was just asked why I do not do a post on worms since I know stuff on worms and I said because I can’t get a “nice” photo of a worm. You know, like in the cartoons, where the worm’s head is up smiling into the camera. They just don’t do that! Anyway…
Today, my neighbor had her landscape sprayed, and pesticides rid a garden of many beneficial insects which are necessary for a healthy garden. There is no doubt the insects in my yard are not safe from this application.
Do you know keeping plants close together helps provide a moist, shaded environment for beneficial insects which dehydrate easily? That is a reason why I have a heavily planted garden to have multitudes of insect life.
I plant lots of garden plants just to get my insects. I say my insects because my neighbors that spray don’t get them. But last year I did something new…
I used an “attractant” to lure beneficial insects that I sprayed on the foliage of my plants. I mixed sugar and water and the insects that came were so many it was shocking. I did it for getting photographs, but the garden benefit was a real perk.
Actually, I discovered this when I dropped the hummingbird feeder and it spilled the nectar water, covering my boxwood. Then the light bulb went off! I started spraying it on the dry Monarda. Hummingbirds came back to the dry plants. So many wasps came immediately too and were there to predate insects I preferred were gone. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself. No wasps stung me either, they were happy and high on the sugar.
I am glad attitudes are changing. Insects are much needed for all the chores they do. Not to mention, they make pretty pictures too.