Beneficial Insects


There are beneficial insects and there are nuisance insects in your garden. The nuisance bug will eat your plant or somehow suck the life out of it while propagating madly and the beneficial or 'helpful' insect is there to help you out.

dragonfly Beneficial insects are the fighting troops of your army that will destroy the invading army of nuisance insects. These 'good' insects have really never been used in gardens until recently.

They are the bugs that eradicate your problem pests for you without the use of any kind of repellent or pesticide. More and more hydroponic stores are offering pre-packaged, live bugs that you can release into your garden as a completely natural and organic means of gettings rid of garden pests.

A number of years ago I was introduced to these 'good' insects in a rather novel way... My wife and I own sea kayaks and we have kayaked several of the large lakes all through the northeastern USA.

There is nothing more pleasant than cruising the shore of a lake listening to the birds and searching out a remote spot for a picnic. Except... when the deer flies start buzzing you looking to take a chunk out of your hide.

And as you go further north the deer flies are replaced by moose flies which are several times larger and meaner. When a moose fly bites, it hurts!

Drawbacks to using predatory insects

Predatory insects can now be purchased online in most hydroponic retail shops. You can buy full grown insects or eggs to hatch these insects.

Once you get them in the mail, release them according to the instructions and sit back while your army attacks the invaders...

Are there drawbacks to this approach? Yes.

  • The price of these beneficial insects seems rather high to me,
  • Once released, it may take weeks before the insects 'take hold' - maybe too long,
  • When the pests are eradicated, the predatory insects, that you spent good money on, will probably move somewhere else where there is food,
  • Introducing insect species into certain areas may upset the natural environmental balance (something to keep in mind).
When these flies appear our response was automatic; paddle as fast and as far as possible from these little devils.

One day, as a deer fly attacked me, I noticed a dragonfly land on the bow of the kayak and my first thought was that another pest had come for the feast!

As the dragonfly began to buzz me I realized he was not 'buzzing' me at all, he was buzzing the deer fly. I watched as he chased the deer fly around and around, circling him like a helicopter.

Then when the dragonfly reached a good position he launched himself at the deer fly, clamped on and took off holding onto the deer fly for a feast of his own.

This was when I first realized that there were beneficial insects as well as problem ones...

The same goes for your hydroponics, and even 'dirt', garden. Do not discount how valuable a 'good' insect could be to your garden; it could literally save it from an insect predator...

I have looked at different online hydroponics stores and am amazed at how popular buying these insects can be; at one site I counted over 25 insect varieties for sale. And keep in mind that there are ways to attract 'good' insects and birds to your garden without spending the money buying them.

So what exactly do these insects do for you? What are the varieties of species?

I have divided these predatory bugs into 3 separate categories - and these are solely my own categories not someone else's. And they are not all insects as you will see...

First are the parasitoids, a personal favorite of mine, next are the nematodes, and lastly, are the rest of the insects.

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