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Published On: Wed, Nov 29th, 2017

6 of the Most Beneficial Bugs to Have in Your Yard

People with entomophobia may believe all bugs are horrible creatures that need to be eradicated, but the truth is our world needs insects. They serve many vital purposes in environments around the globe from helping crops grow to providing natural pest control.

When you see bugs on your property the natural instinct may be to swat or spray, but resist the urge. Take a closer look and you may find it’s one of the beneficial bugs below that help our environment and overall health.

photo Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel via Flickr

Assassin Bugs: They Earn Their Nickname

The team at Joshua’s Pest Control sees a lot of stink bugs out in the field. Turns out, stink bugs are one of the most common insects in Kansas, and they can do a lot of damage. It’s one of the most common reasons Joshua’s get called out for custom pest control in Kansas City.

In addition to assessing the contributing factors and management solutions, the technicians also watch out for other insects. An insect that pest control specialists leave alone is assassin bugs. As the name suggests they prey on a number of garden pests. Assassin bugs will even eat flies and caterpillars.

Bees: The Master Pollinators

You may not want to find an active beehive on your property, but resist the urge to destroy it. Bees are among the best pollinators. As they go from flower to flower bees step in pollen sacs. The pollen sacs are stuff to their legs when they fly off to the next plant.

Once bees have gathered the nectar they head back to the hive where the honey making process begins. Honey is a powerful probiotic that can help keep gut bacteria in balance. Some varieties like manuka honey have numerous health benefits beyond the delicious taste. Without bees we wouldn’t have honey and there would be far fewer plants across the planet.

Spiders: Carnivorous Pest Control Technicians

Those who suffer from arachnophobia will probably never agree that spiders serve a beneficial purpose. However, if they’re ever able to overcome arachnophobia they’ll come to realize these eight-legged insects aren’t so bad.

The primary benefit of having spiders around is bug control. Spiders are natural hunters that will both weave webs to trap bugs and pounce on their prey. Very few spiders pose a real threat to human safety. As long as it’s not a black widow or brown recluse it’s usually a good idea to let spider stick around.

If bats like to roost in your area they’re even better at keeping the bug population under control.

Earthworms: Composting Champions

Any gardener will tell you earthworms are a welcome sight. They spend hours every day wriggling through the soil, which ultimately makes the soil much more healthy.

Earthworms improve the soil in several ways:

  • Their burrowing creates pores in the ground that help with moisture absorption.
  • They help bring more oxygen into the soil.
  • They help carbon dioxide escape the soil.
  • Earthworms excrement acts like a natural fertilizer.

When you want earthworms around you have to be on the look out for other garden pests. Moles, birds and parasitic fly larvae will target earthworms as their primary food source.

Ladybugs: Not as Ladylike as They Seem

Many people have no idea that the innocent looking ladybug is actually a skilled killer. Gardeners love having them around because ladybugs feast on:

  • Aphids (up to 50 a day)
  • Beetles
  • Whiteflies
  • Mites
  • Leaf-hoppers
  • Mealy bugs
  • Scales

Ladybugs are tantamount to having an assistant out in the garden. But the real benefit comes in how ladybugs reproduce. Adult ladybugs will purposely lay their eggs alongside aphids and other pests. Why? So that when the ladybugs eggs hatch they can ready food source.

Ground Beetles: Pest Control From Down Below

Ground beetles work below the surface to help people control pests that aren’t easy to see. During the day they lay low in mulch, woodpiles and weed patches. But once the sun sets, ground beetles come out looking for food. Their preferred meals include cutworms, slugs and caterpillars that devour plants.

These are just a few of the insects that can do more good than harm out in the yard. It’s one reason why hiring a pest control expert is often warranted to make sure your home is as healthy as possible.

Author: Jimmy Simond

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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