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Beneficial insects in the landscape and garden!
Butterflies and bees.
Ladybird beetles, Green lacewings, Syrphid flies, Predatory bugs(Assassin bugs, Bigeyed bugs, Minute Pirate bugs, Spined Soldier bugs), Ground beetles, Soldier beetles(Leatherwing beetles), Spiders, Dragonflies.
Braconid and ichneumonid wasps.
‐ Many plants that draw butterflies also provide pollen or nectar for beneficials.
‐ Undisturbed areas with perennial plants and leaf or mulch cover provide shelter.
‐ Water sources provided for birds will also help attract beneficials.
Plants that draw beneficial insects include--
‐ Perennials and annuals: Daisies, Queen Anne's Lace, Achillea species(Yarrow), Lobularia maritima(Sweet alyssum), Alyssum saxatile, Solidago (Goldenrod);
‐ Herbs: fennel, cilantro, mustard, mint, and
‐ Cover crops such as Eriogonum (buckwheat), alfalfa, soybean, clover, and vetch.
Hints for attracting and keeping beneficial insects in your yard:
‐ Avoid spraying broad-spectrum pesticides. Use contact(soaps) or smothering(oils) insecticides, or pest-specific ones (B.t.).
‐ Don't keep your landscape too clean! Rake leaves, but leave them in undisturbed parts of the yard.
‐ Tolerate pest populations on some plants to provide food for beneficials and keep them in the yard.
‐ Watch your front porch light! When lacewings or leatherwing beetles show up, your aphids may just disappear.
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© 2008 Don Shor, Redwood Barn Nursery, Inc., 1607 Fifth Street, Davis, Ca 95616
Feel free to copy and distribute this article with attribution to this author.
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