Protect those good bugs in your garden

Updated August 03, 2020
Protect those good bugs in your garden
By now, you’ve been able to enjoy your garden  as it transitioned from spring to summer. There’s still more to enjoy as we enter the cooler months that fall brings.

As you continue to manage your garden, keep in mind that there are many beneficial insects to keep out the troublesome pests. Did you know that  only two percent of all the insects out there are possibly a pest? All other insects get along with your plants – even if they take bites of the plant.

Beneficial insects let you know your yard and garden are  in good balance and doing fine. Unnecessary and ill-timed pesticide use is a major concern for beneficial insects, the water and soil, us, our pets and families.

What are some of the good bugs?

Most everyone knows about the ladybug and her voracious appetite for aphids and other soft- bodied insects that attack tender green foliage and blossoms. However, did you know the Green Lacewing also attacks and eats aphids or the Assassin Bug that takes out Lace bugs and aphids?

If you have spiders, you have insects that the spiders want to eat. If you get rid of the spiders, you will have more insects. The abandoned webs are an unsightly nuisance, but please use a soft broom to sweep the webs off.
These are just a few examples of the “Good Bugs” we want to see and allow to live in our gardens.

Reduce your use of pesticides with these tips

By taking a little time to identify the good bugs from the bad bugs, you can actually observe them feeding and controlling the population of bad bugs.

Protect the natural enemies and pollinators by choosing cultural, biological, mechanical or selective chemical controls that  do not harm beneficial species. And, use only less toxic pesticides and only  if there is a heavy infestation; “spot treat” the plants that need to be treated.

The use of synthetic broad spectrum, persistent or systemic insecticides is very damaging to our beneficial insects and critters. These products have been responsible for water pollution, mass die-offs of pollinators and damage to the soil biology (like microbes and worms) that sustain our gardens.

Visit http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu to learn how to identify good bugs and other ways to reduce pesticide use.




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