Two Cool Beneficial Insects for Your Garden

While you are gardening, you might notice that insects and plants work together in interesting ways. The right (or beneficial) insects can ensure your garden has the best luck every single year. If you’re thinking about building a wildflower garden, this is especially important to be aware of.

Two helpful bugs are out there waiting to give you a leg up on creating a gorgeous landscape environment. Both the parasitoid wasp and the assassin bug are insects to be aware of. They can watch over your flowers and make sure they are protected from other pests.

What to Know About the Assassin Bug

Imagine this for a moment: a beautiful garden where blooms are colorful and bright in the breeze. The air is fresh and has pollinators flitting around the area. In this same scene, there might be an assassin bug or two lurking around in the background. If you catch a glimpse, you’ll easily see that this bug is a predator, but you might not know how useful that is for your garden.

Assassin bugs from the family Reduviidae are proficient hunters. They prey on all sorts of garden bugs, like beetles, aphids, and caterpillars. Their sharp proboscis lets them strike fast and inject enzymes that quickly liquify a prey’s inside, making them super easy to consume.

Benefits of Assassin Bugs for Your Garden

One of the best things about assassin bugs is that they can keep harmful insects away from your flowers, vegetables, and fruit. Assassin bugs are responsible for helping maintain the perfect balance within any garden you might plant in your backyard.

In addition, these bugs are super low maintenance. Unlike chemicals, the bugs need little upkeep and aren’t going to harm any plants or good insects that take up residence in your garden.

The final reason to appreciate these insects comes down to their boost to biodiversity. When you have several assassin bugs in your garden, it helps you build an environment perfect for species of all kinds. This creates a robust and resilient garden that you can count on.

How to Bring in Assassin Bugs

One of the best ways to entice assassin bugs is by having many kinds of plants in your garden. Flowering plants can attract all sorts of other insects, which means that assassin bugs come in to take care of them. Plus, the plants offer a great hiding spot for these pint-sized predators.

Another way to foster assassins in the garden is by avoiding the use of chemicals. There’s no need to use pesticides, which is ideal since they can alter the balance of your ecosystem. As an organic pest control method, you can’t beat these little bugs.

Finally, using mulch and creating a robust habitat can be helpful. When you offer shelter for assassin bugs, they are more likely to stick around. Let them find spots to nest and stay in your garden for the best results.

What to Know About Parasitoid Wasps

Parasitoid wasps are a part of the order Hymenoptera, which offers thousands of species that can be used to take care of garden pests you’d prefer not to be there. From caterpillars to aphids, these wasps have an important role in keeping pests from proliferating in your garden space.

While you might think of stings when you hear the word “wasps,” this version doesn’t harm humans. They instead lay their eggs on or in the bodies of other insects. The larvae develop and eat the hosts from inside as a way to survive.

Benefits of Parasitoid Wasps in Your Yard

Parasitoid wasps are a great solution for pest control without forcing you to use chemical pesticides. They target certain harmful pest species but leave the rest of the bugs in your garden alone so you can appreciate the benefits they offer, as well.

In addition, when you incorporate these little wasps into your garden, they can become part of a larger pest management strategy. They work with other good insects to ensure your garden stays balanced and beautiful.

Finally, like assassin bugs, they promote higher biodiversity. Introducing them (and other good insects) to your garden makes your garden stronger and better able to handle outbreaks of pests.

How to Bring in Parasitoid Wasps

One of the top methods to bring in wasps like these is by planting flowers with tons of nectar. These are attractive to the grown wasps and offer them all the energy they need to keep your garden protected and safe.

You also want to make sure you create a welcoming space for the parasitoid wasps. Add items like shrubs, flowering plants, and leaf litter for the best results. This helps support wasps in all parts of their lifecycle.

It’s also best to limit your use of chemical pesticides if you want to bring in parasitoid wasps. These can harm the wasps and may disrupt the garden, which they are keeping in perfect order for your benefit.

Learn More About Gardening with Beneficial Insects

One of the best ways to embrace beneficial insects in the garden is by choosing natural gardening techniques. Our Gardening Without Pesticides eBook is a comprehensive guide that explains how to enjoy a beautiful garden without using harmful chemicals. Chapters are dedicated to everything from using healthy soil to choosing the right plants and mastering composting techniques. You’ll also be provided with many other resources to help you learn more about natural gardening.

In addition, you can join us for the Sustainable Farm Conference, which offers a special session on identifying beneficial insects. The conference covers a variety of topics designed for sustainable farmers. From fermenting food to understanding the purpose of farm animals, we’ll provide you with sessions that empower you and give you practical knowledge. The conference takes place on October 5, 2024, in Franklin, Tennessee.

As you start a journey to create a wonderful garden, remember that nature offers allies to help you. From the parasitoid wasp to the assassin bug, some insects are there to help by patrolling for insects who might cause havoc otherwise. Embrace these little bugs to live more in harmony with nature and preserve the biodiversity of your garden.