beneficial-insects

Beneficial Insects in Your Home and Yard – Avoid Killing These

In this article, we will help you better understand how to recognize beneficial insects in your home and how to research and find out what they’re doing to my environments. Here are a few surprises I came across.

Once upon a time, I’d see a bug, and, of course, instinct took over. Whether in my flowering plants, garden plants, or on my living room floor, it’s time to grab the spray, or my foot goes in the air to come down with indignant wrath.

Sale
Trappify Window Fly Traps: House Window Fruit Fly Traps for Indoors, Gnat, & Other Flying Insect, Disposable Indoor Fly Trap with Extra Sticky Adhesive Strips - Inside Home Housefly & Bug Catchers (8)
1,174 Reviews
Trappify Window Fly Traps: House Window Fruit Fly Traps for Indoors, Gnat, & Other Flying Insect, Disposable Indoor Fly Trap with Extra Sticky Adhesive Strips - Inside Home Housefly & Bug Catchers (8)
  • VALUE SET: Available in 4, 8 and 12 packs to of fruit fly traps for indoors. Designed to attract house flies, mosquito, knat, gnats, along with many...
  • EASY TO USE: Just simply open the wrap of our fly catcher, fold panels into place, remove the protective paper from the glue strip, and lastly apply...
  • LONG LASTING: Our bug indoor trap with a double strength adhesive secures a reliable and lasting application with every use and utilizes sticky glue...

That was before I became aware of my ecosystems and how there are beneficial insects that help sustain the environment I want in my home and yard.

Biological Control of Pest Population in Native Plants

I became more thoughtful about dealing with the other insects and pests in my life. Not that I want to see these critters all over the place. But I don’t want to completely decimate the populace either.

beneficial insects in your home

I had to do a little research and determine how to avoid killing these beneficial insects in my home and yard.

We consider most types of bugs to be “pests,” however this is rarely the case. Pollinators such as bees, certain beetles, butterflies, and some moths are among the most well-known beneficial insects.

Lady bugs, lacewings, and certain wasp species among others seek out typical “pest” insects like caterpillars.

Trappify Sticky Gnat Traps for House Indoor - Yellow Fruit Fly Traps for Indoors/Outdoor Plant - Insect Catcher White Flies, Mosquitos, Fungus Gnat Trap, Flying Insects - Disposable Glue Trapper (25)
2,799 Reviews
Trappify Sticky Gnat Traps for House Indoor - Yellow Fruit Fly Traps for Indoors/Outdoor Plant - Insect Catcher White Flies, Mosquitos, Fungus Gnat Trap, Flying Insects - Disposable Glue Trapper (25)
  • Pest Control: Dual sided sticky bug cards for mosquito, leafminer, aphid, and other flying pest problems. Protect your best inside plant from fungus...
  • Easy To Use: Peel off a trap from the stack and place in a houseplant, a home kitchen, or a garden. Highly rated zapper catchers to finally protect...
  • Organic Gardening: Safe way to remove small pests with non toxic and no harsh ingredients. Fruit Flies, Gnats and other small flying insects are...

Consider how you may use these beneficial insects to protect your plants against garden pests, and learn which of these beneficial insects work best in your environment and begin planning on how you can increase the plants they like.

Get Rid of Bad Bugs or Garden Pests

One of the most common bad bugs or voracious predators are the Colorado potato beetles. These beetles are one of the most destructive pests of potatoes and other Solanaceous crops.

natural aphid control

They are difficult to control due to their high reproductive rate, ability to rapidly develop resistance to pesticides, and lack of natural enemies in many parts of North America. Luckily, there are a few effective ways to control these pests.

One method is to attract beneficial predators that prey on these Colorado potato beetles, such as ladybugs or green lacewings.

Common Beneficial Insects

Aphid Midges

Sale
Rodale's Color Handbook of Garden Insects
26 Reviews
Rodale's Color Handbook of Garden Insects
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Carr, Anna (Author)

The midge isn’t the aphid you’re thinking of. Aphids are notorious enemies of the gardener. The aphid midge, on the other hand, is the gardener’s buddy.

The midge snacks on dozens of various aphid species. The adult flies, which are only a few millimeters long and have short legs, feed on more than 60 species of aphids by paralyzing their victims with poisonous saliva.

aphid midges

Midges are naturally drawn to a honeydew substance that aphids leave in their trail.

Watch for traces of tiny orange eggs hiding in plant leaves. They turn into small fat larvae. If you don’t know what they are, you’ll immediately go looking for pesticides or the hose. But it’s the larvae that are going to help wipe out your aphid population.

Once well-fed, they fall into the soil and burrow away. The larvae feed on various host insects or insect species until they grow to adulthood and restart the process.

Braconid Wasps

braconid wasps

Hornworms strike fear into many. They are terrors in the tomato garden. With their appetites, a small group can wipe out an entire crop.

Along comes the braconid wasp, from a family of creatures that strike fear into even the hardened adventurer. Only the braconid is the answer to your Hornworm nightmares.

Eat Pests in Your Garden

These wasps are tiny and slender with black wings. But braconid wasps do not sting humans. Their prey is the Hornworm.

Trappify Hanging Fly Traps Outdoor: Fruit Fly Traps for Indoors | Fly Catcher, Gnat, Mosquito, & Flying Insect Catchers for Inside Home - Disposable Sticky Fly Trap for Indoor House Pest Control (8)
3,019 Reviews
Trappify Hanging Fly Traps Outdoor: Fruit Fly Traps for Indoors | Fly Catcher, Gnat, Mosquito, & Flying Insect Catchers for Inside Home - Disposable Sticky Fly Trap for Indoor House Pest Control (8)
  • CATCH PESKY BUGS: Trap mosquitoes, gnats, flies, horse fly, housefly, nat, lantern fly, knat, and many other irritating flying insect with this...
  • PROTECT YOUR HOUSE: Hanging hook lets you place the trap anywhere near common bug infested areas in your home to lure, and catch all pests. Try...
  • THE GREAT OUTDOORS: Perfect for porches, garage, patios, gardens, stable, lawn, chicken coop, and any popular hotbeds for flying insects to keep them...

Females lay eggs in the Hornworm caterpillar. The emerging larvae look to satisfy their appetite.

The wasps spin cocoons on the caterpillar, where they pupate into adult wasps. Doing this takes out the host Hornworm and saves your tomatoes.

Assassin Bugs

Assassin bugs, also known as ambush bugs or blood-sucking conenose bugs, are small, slender insects that are found all over the world. As their name suggests, their primary feeding strategy is to lie in wait for potential prey and then rapidly strike when an unsuspecting victim is within reach.

assassin bugs

Assassin bugs have specially adapted mouthparts that help them to pierce through the skin of their prey and draw out the vital fluids inside.

Pest Control Does Not Affect Humans

Although these insects might seem fearsome at first glance, they are actually quite harmless to humans, and they provide a valuable ecological function by preying on smaller insect populations.

If you’re lucky enough to spot one in your garden or yard, take a moment to admire this special species of bug! After all, an assassin bug is a fantastic pest control ally.

Damsel Bugs

Damsel bugs are dainty little critters. The name comes for their stance. The way they hold out their front legs looks like they’re holding up a skirt. But that’s a pretense.

What Do They Eat?

The bugs take that polite stance and use it to grab prey and hold them tight. Fortunately, their prey is aphids, mites, small caterpillars, and insect eggs—things you don’t want in your garden.

damsel bugs

The damsel bug eats predatory insects like the assassin or minute pirate bug. They don’t eat plants, but they eat the tiny things that eat your plants.

You could dispose of the pesticides and traps altogether with these bugs around.

Mexican Bean Beetles

Mexican Bean Beetles are a type of beetle that feeds on bean plants. Mexican Bean Beetles are generally yellow or orange in color with black spots on their wings. Adults are about 1/4 inch long, and larvae are about 1/2 inch long.

mexican bean beetles

These beetles typically lay their eggs on the underside of bean leaves. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae begin to feed on the leaves, causing damage to the plant.

Mexican Bean Beetles can be controlled through various methods, including pesticide application and crop rotation.

Spiders

Sale
Spiders of the World: A Natural History (A Guide to Every Family, 2)
490 Reviews
Spiders of the World: A Natural History (A Guide to Every Family, 2)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Platnick, Norman I. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

According to the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program, spiders are one of the best things for the home as they will systematically rid it of more unwanted guests than any number of predators combined.

These arachnids are eight-legged invertebrates with joint-limbed legs. A considerable portion of the populace suffers from arachnophobia and tries to get rid of them.

spiders

Mother’s Nature Pest Control

Mother Nature gave spiders a significant part in checking the insect population. Many scientists call spiders the most critical control for pests around yards, homes, gardens, and crops.

Spiders use a range of tactics to get their prey. Some use webbing. Other species hunt. Ironically, as much as we don’t trust the common spider, there would be many more insects in our lives without them.

Ladybugs

Clark&Co Organic Live Ladybugs - Good Bugs for Garden - Pre-Fed Hippodamia Convergens - Guaranteed Live Delivery! (1500)
807 Reviews
Clark&Co Organic Live Ladybugs - Good Bugs for Garden - Pre-Fed Hippodamia Convergens - Guaranteed Live Delivery! (1500)
  • 🐞Ladybugs are general predators that feed on a variety of slow-moving bugs including Aphids, Moth eggs, Mites, Scales, Thrips, Leaf Hoppers,...
  • 🐞Ladybugs can be stored up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator at a temperature of 40°F to 60°F. Ladybugs can begin reproducing immediately with a...
  • 🐞Ladybugs, 1500 Live Ladybugs for garden, Live Delivery Guaranteed! 1500 ladybugs = 1000 sq. ft.

Ladybird beetles, lady beetles, or ladybugs, they’re still shiny-shelled beneficial insects and referred to in the feminine for their natural color and beauty.

A Lover of Aphids

Another lover of aphid meals, science estimates the ladybug will eat at least 5,000 aphids in its lifespan. Ladybugs are also fond of insect eggs, mites, and scalies.

Like many on my list, it’s the larvae that do a lot of insect chowing. The appearance of ladybug larvae gets compared to creepily tiny alligators with spiny, long bodies.

ladybugs

If I didn’t know them for what they were, I’d take them out on sight!

I keep ladybugs around by ensuring their favored non-insect food is always available. That’s pollen. They also like marigolds, cosmos, and various herbs, including cilantro, chives, and dill. You can also buy your ladybugs.

Please: Do not mistake the ladybug for the Asian lady beetle.

Stakich, Bee Pollen Granules, 16 Ounce
3,688 Reviews
Stakich, Bee Pollen Granules, 16 Ounce
  • 100% PURE, ALL NATURAL, UNPROCESSED - Premium quality with absolutely NO additives
  • NEVER HEATED OR DRIED - Stakich Bee Pollen has been kept in a cold storage, away from direct sunlight
  • A POWERHOUSE OF VITAMINS - All of its enzymes are kept intact, especially B12 and E, minerals, amino acids and enzymes

Ground Beetles

Backyard Seeds Nyjer Thistle Seed (3)
163 Reviews
Backyard Seeds Nyjer Thistle Seed (3)
  • FINCH FAVORITE - Premium diet for finches and other small beaked birds
  • HIGH ENERGY - A great source of energy
  • ATTRACTS A CROWD - Attracts all types of finches, including American Goldfinches, Purple Finches, House Finches and Pine Siskins

The ground beetle is brown or black and has a length of ⅛ to 1½ inches. They usually go scampering after you lift a rock.

What Does This Beneficial Insect Eat?

The ground beetles eat predatory and beneficial insects above and below ground. As larvae, they live below the soil, chomping common pests.

ground beetles

When they surface, they eat any bug they come across. This beetle also nibbles on certain weed seeds, including foxtail, thistle, and ragweed.

I encourage ground beetles with a place to stay. In my case, it’s a log, but a set of flat rocks will also make a nice home. They like plants where they can hide in the shade.

Hoverflies

Because of their coloring, people often mistake the hoverfly for a wasp or bee. But these are not biters. They can be intimidating because they don’t fly so much as hover, hence the name. So they’ll float around you like a drone which many find disturbing.

hoverflies

Aphid honeydew draws the hoverflies in. So, if you have an infestation of aphids, you’ll be lucky if these beneficial insects come to the rescue. The larvae do the eating. It also consumes thrips and small caterpillars.

In adulthood, hoverflies contribute to gardens as pollinators.

Green Lacewings

Green Lacewing 1,000 Eggs - NaturesGoodGuys
416 Reviews
Green Lacewing 1,000 Eggs - NaturesGoodGuys
  • 1,000 Live Green Lacewing Eggs - A Great General Pest Predator!
  • Each green lacewing larvae can consume up to 600 aphids in their larvae stage!
  • You can release lacewings with other beneficial insects like ladybugs and praying mantis!!

The lacewing has a slender body of green with near-transparent wings and lengthy antennae. They’re not picky, categorized as predatory generalists. They eat whatever gets in their way.

Once their eggs hatch, the larvae immediately begin to eat aphids, but they like various soft bodied insects such as leafhoppers, mealybugs, and small caterpillars. Like the hoverfly, adult lacewings become pollinators.

green lacewings

Beetle Larvae

These beneficial insects are the larval stage of beetle development. They go through complete metamorphosis, meaning they have four distinct life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

These beneficial bugs typically spend the majority of their time in the larval stage, which can last anywhere from a few weeks to several years depending on the species.

During this time, like other insects, they undergo several molts, shedding their skin as they grow larger.

beetle larvae

When these good bugs are fully grown, they pupate, emerging as adults a short time later.

These beneficial insects are often considered pests due to their voracious appetites; however, some species of these bugs are actually beneficial to agriculture by eating crop-damaging insects.

Mealybug Destroyer

Yup, that the creature’s real name. A cousin of the lady beetle, this bug’s larvae is a significant threat to mealybugs. The larvae resemble that of the mealybug. You can tell them apart by the destroyer’s larger size.

mealybug destroyer

Mealybug destroyer females lay their eggs in the center of their prey’s egg sacks. That draws the mealybug in, making them an easy catch. The larvae and adult beetle both prey on the mealybug. You can order these beetles if you have a problem with the mealybug.

Predatory Mites

Predatory mites are tiny, spider-like creatures that live on plants. Predatory mites feed on or squash bugs or harmful insects. These beneficial bugs are an important part of any Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, as they help to keep harmful pests in check.

predatory mites

Control Spider Mites

Predatory mites are particularly useful for controlling spider mites, which can be difficult to control with chemical pesticides. If you think your plants might be infested with spider mites, consider releasing these mites into the area.

With a little help from these beneficial bugs, you can keep your garden healthy and pest-free!

Syrphid Flies

The syrphid is a beneficial predator of tiny soft-bodied pests like aphids, thrips, and scale insects. Adults consume pollen and nectar, which helps pollinate plants.

syrphid flies

Syrphid flies, also known as hoverflies or flower flies, are a type of small fly that are found all around the world. They get their name from the way that they hover or fly very close to the ground.

A Must Have for Your Garden

These good bugs are an important part of a successful garden ecosystem, as they are voracious predators of pests like aphids and other small bugs. They also help to pollinate plants with the nectar and pollen that they collect from flowers.

Beneficial Bugs: Last Thoughts

Beneficial insects are a gardener’s best friend! These little critters help to keep pests in check, pollinate plants, and improve soil health. But with so many beneficial insects to choose from, how do you know which ones will work best for your garden?

Sale
Trappify Window Fly Traps: House Window Fruit Fly Traps for Indoors, Gnat, & Other Flying Insect, Disposable Indoor Fly Trap with Extra Sticky Adhesive Strips - Inside Home Housefly & Bug Catchers (8)
1,174 Reviews
Trappify Window Fly Traps: House Window Fruit Fly Traps for Indoors, Gnat, & Other Flying Insect, Disposable Indoor Fly Trap with Extra Sticky Adhesive Strips - Inside Home Housefly & Bug Catchers (8)
  • VALUE SET: Available in 4, 8 and 12 packs to of fruit fly traps for indoors. Designed to attract house flies, mosquito, knat, gnats, along with many...
  • EASY TO USE: Just simply open the wrap of our fly catcher, fold panels into place, remove the protective paper from the glue strip, and lastly apply...
  • LONG LASTING: Our bug indoor trap with a double strength adhesive secures a reliable and lasting application with every use and utilizes sticky glue...
A Healthy Garden with Beneficial Insects and Good Bugs

The first step is to identify the problems you’re trying to solve. Are you dealing with a lot of pests? Do your plants need help with pollination? Or are you looking to improve soil health?

Once you’ve identified the problem, you can start looking for beneficial insects that target that specific issue. For example, if you’re dealing with pests, ladybugs and lacewings are great options.

If you need help with pollination, bees are an obvious choice. And if you’re looking to improve soil health, earthworms are a great option.

So start doing your research and see which beneficial insects will help you achieve your gardening goals!

I’d love to have my garden and home to be pest-free, but I’m also not interested in using a lot of traps and sprays that indiscriminately kill off the populace. I hope after reviewing my list, you’ll agree to avoid killing these beneficial home and yard beneficial insects. Leave a comment if you’d like some help.

To shop our complete selection of non-toxic pest control, CLICK HERE!

Shopping Cart