Chances are that title strikes you as quite odd, considering most of the time we’re offering tips on how to rid your yard of pests. While there are plenty of critters that are experts at wreaking havoc on your lawn and garden, there are just as many, if not more, that are actually beneficial. In fact, there is even a name for these pests…beneficials! While it may be instinct to classify all bugs in your yard as pests and kill them, keep an eye out for these insects that will actually do you a favor or two if you leave them to it.
1. Ladybugs: Not only are they one of the cutest bugs around, ladybug larvae enjoy a nice meal of aphids. They will also feed off of beetles, mites and many other plant-plaguing pests. Besides, your five-year old will thank you for saving their favorite bug.
2. Lacewings: Similar to ladybugs, it is the lacewing larvae that will help you out. These insects prey on aphids, mites, beetles and caterpillars, thus protecting many of your yard’s plants and flowers.
3. Mini wasps: At first, this may sound like a lot to ask, but mini wasps aren’t the vicious, human-stinging type. Mini wasps are great for keeping the caterpillar population under control and they’re no threat to you in the process.
4. Damsel bugs: These insects are known to feed on a wide range of garden pests including aphids, caterpillars and mites.
5. Praying Mantis: The unique praying mantis makes this list because they eat many problematic pests in your yard. Unfortunately, they eat just about any insect and can therefore pose a threat to other beneficials on the lists. We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say they’re worth keeping around.
There are plenty of things you can do to try and increase the presence of these bugs in your yard, however the first and most important step is recognizing their value and assisting in their survival.