Landscapes with diverse healthy populations of beneficial predator insects are able to keep the populations of harmful insects in check. Landscapes designed to meet their needs are rewarded with natural pest control from beneficial insects. Harmful pest are those that damage plants, or bother/bite humans such as gnats and mosquitoes. Examples of those that damage plants include aphids, grass hoppers, Japanese beetles, crickets, leaf hoppers, sawfly larvae, caterpillars and slugs.
Insects considered beneficial predators include soldier beetles, lady bird beetles, syriphid, solitary wasp, pirate bugs, lacewings, damsel flies, dragon flies, tiger beetles, rove beetles, tachinid flies, fire flies, robber flies, ground beetles, assassin bugs, damsel bugs, big-eyed bugs, and praying mantids. The best way to attract them is to provide nectar and pollen to supplement their diet. Landscapes that provide a continuous supply of nectar and pollen from early spring through late fall maintain healthy populations of beneficial insects. As a result, large pest outbreaks that cause excessive damage to landscape plants and crops are prevented.
Gardeners interested in raising organic vegetables, and those who don’t want to use any kind of pesticide in their landscape should consider a design focused on the needs of beneficals. Native plants preferred by beneficial are commonly preferred by native bees as well. So designing a landscape for one will automatically help the other as well.
Let us design your landscape to maximize aesthetics, properly locate plants where their water, soil and sunlight needs are met, and insure your success in attracting beneficial predator insects.