Predators, Parasites and Pollinators — oh my!
Attracting or importing beneficial insects — “the good bugs” — into your yard or garden is a great way to reduce the number of detrimental insect pests without having to resort to toxic pesticides or insecticides.
There are four categories of beneficial insects:
Predators are generally larger than their prey and consume many pest insects throughout their lifetime. They are often considered general feeders, which means that they eat a variety of insect species. Unfortunately, some predators, like the voracious praying mantis, will eat just about anything in its path, including other beneficial insects. Both immature and adult predatory insects consume garden pests and some feed on pollen and nectar at various stages of their life-cycle. (The picture here shows a ladybug larvae feeding on aphids.) (more…)