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Attracting beneficial insects to your garden is fairly simple to do. You can plant things they enjoy and add other things to attract them to live in your backyard garden and help to protect your vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers.
So how do you go about attracting the bugs to your garden? First, plant things the good bugs like. (See our seeds below to attract them!)
Plant strawberries and lots of flowers
so you will attract hover flies, wasps, and ladybugs. These insects all
love nectar and pollen. Hover flies help to pollinate strawberry
plants. Tachinid flies enjoy pollen.
Predator bugs who feed on other insects are attracted by shrubbery and bunch grasses, like Blue Grama Grass. Predator insects include soldier bugs, pirate bugs, ambush bugs, and big-eyed bugs.
Ground beetles are attracted by placing rocks, and perennial ground cover plants, like Buffalo Grass, Rye Grass, Sheep Vescue, and Red Clover. Spiders also go for the ground cover plants and straw mulch in your garden.
The following herbs and flowers also attract Beneficial Insects to your garden:
Angelica attracts small wasps.
Calendula attracts bugs to eat aphids.
Catnip attracts predator wasps, hoverflies, and robber flies.
Chamomile attracts predator wasps, hoverflies, and robber flies.
Cilantro aka Coriander attracts small wasps.
Daisies attract predator wasps, hoverflies, and robber flies.
Dill attracts small wasps to eat aphids.
Fennel attracts small wasps.
Mint is a low growing plant that makes a good cover for ground beetles.
Rosemary is a low growing plant that makes a good cover for ground beetles.
Rue aka Ruda attracts small wasps.
Thyme is a low growing plant that makes a good cover for ground beetles.
Yarrow attracts small wasps.
Rove beetles like to live where there is decaying organic material. Can you say Compost?
Lacewings like flowers so if you have plenty in your yard near your vegetable garden, they will come. Lacewings, as well as ladybugs, hover flies, and wasps particularly enjoy the Fennel plant.
All of the beneficial insects dislike dust from the dirt so it is important to keep the dirt covered with mulch. They enjoy munching on weeds so do not destroy every weed in your garden if attracting beneficial insects is your goal.
If you want them to stay in your garden area, make sure they have water. You can do this by watering overhead so some water will collect on leaves, leaving tiny puddles for them to drink from. You can also use lids from butter or margarine packaging. Put some tiny pebbles on them and then put some water into them. The pebbles will prevent the bugs from drowning when they go to get a drink by allowing them to stand above the water.
Try not to use insecticides as you may kill off the beneficial insects. If you do use them, make sure they are organic.
Planting pyrethrum and hot pepper plants are natural ways to help ward off some insects.
Understand that your balance of beneficial insects and plant-destroying insects will vary from year to year, depending on heat, coolness, drought, or too much rain.
Good luck with controlling the bug population in your garden!
All of the variety information on the David's Garden Seeds® website, including the days to
maturity, color and size are based on data from tests done at specific
locations. Many factors, including geographic location, daytime and
nighttime temperatures, the availability of plant nutrients, many unknown climate factors and insects/pest interact to determine a variety's
performance. For information on which varieties will perform best in
your area, we recommend that you contact your local county extension agent or a Master Gardener.
David’s Garden Seeds®, gardening is our passion. We provide top quality,
non-GMO seeds so families can learn about gardening and love it. In turn, we
hope they will pass this passion down to their children and
grandchildren, teaching them to grow delicious food, fresh herbs and