Which Creepy Crawlies Help Your Plants?
Eating those pesky (yet tasty) bugs that want to eat your plants is their business. Photo Credit: Noel Zia Lee
Nature has its own way of keeping things in check. Any deer hunter will tell you that predators (not man) are essential to the overall health of the herd. By thinning the herd, these predators help continue a balanced cycle of life. When this balance is knocked out of whack, that’s when trouble starts. This is especially true in the garden. Rather than using insecticides and pesticides to knock out unwanted bugs, let nature take its course. Here’s a list of insects and animals helpful to the garden.
Ladybugs: They’re great at eliminating aphids. The ladybug is superlative in the garden and should be encouraged to remain. Aphids feed on many plants, but roses are a favorite. They can kill a rose bush and other plants within weeks if left alone. The experts say planting dill, cilantro, cosmos, coreopsis, and dandelions will attract the ladybug.
Centipedes: These critters can be found under dead logs and dark areas. They feed on mites, bugs, and slugs. Shady areas or compost heaps are good habitats for the centipede.
Earthworms: If you have earthworms in the lawn, that’s a great sign.
They dig up the soil, leaving behind organic material and providing a healthy element to your lawn. By the way, trout love them too.
Bees: This insect is a lynch pin to nature’s balance. It’s no secret that bees have been disappearing for awhile. One reason is electromagnetic radiation from cell-phone towers. This fouls up their navigation system and they can’t find their way home. The result is a collapse of the hive. Bees are the chief pollinators for trees, flowers, fruits, and vegetables. They love roses, allysum, daises, and verbena.
Spiders: As useful as they are creepy. These guys catch and eat millions of insects that can do damage to plants. Without them the garden would be overrun by hungry insects.
Birds: While it’s true that birds will eat ripe offerings from most fruit trees, they provide essential help in the garden. They eat many things that want to eat your flowers. They get rid of caterpillars, slugs, and grubs. Keep bird feeders full and you’ll have an easier time in the victory garden. Robins, thrushes, blackbirds, and starlings are among the best at this chore.
Frogs: They have a big appetite, which helps, because there’s plenty on their menu. They love mosquitoes, moths, beetles, cockroaches, and snails. It’s not uncommon to see them in backyard ponds and nearby canals.
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