Attracting Beneficial Insects To Your Garden

by Juanita Schulze

Attracting beneficial insects to your garden is fairly simple to do. A little work with a big payoff.

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!)

A healthy tomato plant growing in our greenhouse. It has flowers for attracting beneficial insects.

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.

Attracting Beneficial Insects

Soldier Bug

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.

More on Attracting Beneficial Insects
To Your Garden

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!

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