Insects That Actually Help Us – A Look On The Flipside

People everywhere all want help getting rid of pests around the home or garden, but what about insects that actually help us more than they harm us? While some shudder to think about bugs as being allies; like everything in the animal kingdom, every member serves a purpose consequently keeping the world in balance. That includes you; and you probably already know a few categories of “helpful” pests to recognize like insects that help in the garden, acting as pollinators, pest predators, and pest indicators. Let’s take a look at the flipside of pest control!

Fight Fire With Fire – Bug vs Bug

First to the bugs that provide a natural way to keep your garden and flowers blooming and can help you get a healthy crop of fruits and veggies.

For those growers who don’t want to use pesticides and sprays, “Organic Lesson” lists insects you may want to introduce to your garden and flower environment in order to kill off other pests that otherwise want to spoil the party. Those include ladybugs, ground beetles and minute pirate bugs. Their favorite meals are aphids, thrips, whiteflies, slugs, caterpillars and spider mites.

While pesticides can get rid of those bugs too, introducing a natural predator is better for those who aren’t comfortable with sprays or want to grow organic food. You can order Ladybugs, Ground Beetles and Minute Pirate Bugs online – just be sure to alert your neighbors and make sure the environment is safe for them to operate or they’ll be dead insects that actually help us, or rather don’t!

Unsuspecting Pollinators

Of course, we all know bees and butterflies are the main pollinators for plants, but there are some other pollinators that many people don’t realize do the same thing. “ThoughtCo.” finds Moths, Beetles, Mosquitoes, Flies, Ants and Wasps also have the ability to pollinate.

Even the mere mention of the word “Wasps” is enough to trigger some people, finding those insects to be part of the “Nightmare Fuel” family – but not so fast! “ThoughtCo.” says the wasp subfamily “Masarinae”, common wasps, European wasps and fig wasps are major pollinators as well. “Without fig wasps, there would be a very low likelihood of figs in the wild,” according to “ThoughtCo.” 

Where There Is One, There Is Many

Finally, some bugs seen as pests can be an indicator that there’s something to clean up in the home. While fruit flies are annoying, they’re designed to tell you – CLEAN UP! While their name is obvious to their favorite foods and sources of infestation, The University of Kentucky Department of Entomology also finds they can breed in: “Drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash containers, mops and cleaning rags. All that is needed for development is a moist film of fermenting material.”

Of course no one wants them around, but a different perspective can see them as an alarm clock to clean the house, throw away nasty food, or clean out the cleaning products! Another “alarm clock” pest is the foreign grain beetle. The University of Minnesota Extension says they only show up in your home if you have excess moisture or mold, as well as old grain and spices or dried fruits that have started to go bad.

These beetles are not as harmful as fruit flies, but provide are a good indicator that there’s a problem you can’t see or haven’t noticed.

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