When it comes to your Utah garden and greenhouse, not all bugs are pests. Good gardeners know that many insects can be beneficial, as they feast on the pests that can damage your plants, flowers and trees.
So, the next time you see a bug when you’re gardening, don’t assume that it’s causing harm. If the insect you saw was one of the following good bugs, you can be happy it found its way to your Utah garden or greenhouse.
In the larval stage, green lacewings are voracious predators – they can devour dozens of aphids a day in a greenhouse or garden. These good bugs also prey on mealybugs, whiteflies, leafhoppers and pest moth caterpillars.
Ladybugs are highly beneficial bugs and you’ll be lucky to see them in your Utah greenhouse or garden. Both the larvae and adults love to munch on aphids, mites, mealybugs and many of the other pests that gardeners despise.
If mosquitos, flies, fleas, mites or aphids are a problem for your Utah garden or greenhouse, you’ll wish you had some rove beetles – those pests are what they prefer to eat.
Lift a stepping stone in your garden or move a greenhouse pot, and you might see ground beetles scurrying away. That’s a good thing because, in their larval stage, these bugs prey on slugs, root maggots, caterpillars, cutworms and other pests in the soil.
Hover flies look a bit like bees or wasps, but they cannot sting – so you can welcome them into your greenhouse and garden. As larvae, these good bugs feed on aphids, scale insects and caterpillars. And, as an added bonus, adult hover flies will pollinate your flowers.
You might not actually notice damsel bugs in your greenhouse or garden, as they tend to blend into the environment. But you would be happy to have them because they like to nosh on small pest insects like mites, caterpillars and aphids -- and they also eat their eggs.
Much like damsel bugs, you could have minute pirate bugs and not even know it. These insects are truly tiny, measuring just 1/16” long, but they can easily do away with a high number of the aphids, mites, thrips and insect eggs in your greenhouse and garden.
Big-eyed bugs can have a big impact on your garden and greenhouse. Both the adults and larvae are beneficial, feasting heartily on mites, whiteflies, aphids, small caterpillars and insect eggs.
Of course, the eight insects we’ve listed here aren’t the only good bugs for your Utah garden and greenhouse. And, unfortunately, you might confuse some of them for pests that can wreak havoc on your plants, flowers and trees.
For expert advice on your Utah landscaping and gardening endeavors, stop by Millcreek Gardens. And, if you’re concerned about Utah garden or greenhouse pests, our friendly staff can recommend effective strategies for insect management.
The Millcreek Gardens team has the knowledge and experience to address all your indoor and outdoor plant questions. Visit our Salt Lake City plant nursery today for more tips on keeping the good bugs in – and the bad bugs out – of your Utah garden and greenhouse.