Praying mantises are like bug-eating bouncers for the garden. They devour dozens of difficult plant-eating pests. DIY picklers may run across them most often, because they have a particular penchant for the scent of dill. So plant some dill yourself to turn your garden into a hot property for praying mantises.
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- The Good Guys: 8 Beneficial Bugs for Your Garden
The Good Guys: 8 Beneficial Bugs for Your Garden
An insect best think twice before asking a ladybug out to dinner. The suitor could end up as the meal, as could a lot of those other bad bugs lurking in your garden. Get on a ladybug's good side by adding some cilantro to your garden mix. Soon enough, a few of these colorful omnivores will head on over to keep the bad bugs at bay.
The mere presence of butterflies adds a heavenly vibe to any garden, but these graceful insects also help beautify plants by pollinating them. One of the best ways to attract a few of these magnificent creatures is by planting liatris, spiky flowers that some butterflies find very appealing.
Green Lacewing Larvae
The larvae of the green lacewing are nicknamed "aphid lions" because of their fearsome appetite for aphids. They are one surefire way keep your garden free from those pesky pests. You can attract adult green lacewings—and ultimately their larvae—with marigolds, which have a tasty nectar they find delectable.
Minute Pirate Bugs
For serious garden infestations, who should you call? The minute pirate bug. Other predatory insects take out bad bugs only up to the point of satiety. But minute pirate bugs can continue to kill even when they're full. Growing alfalfa is an excellent way to recruit minute pirate bugs to guard your plants.
No insect detrimental to your garden will be safe from the mighty dragonfly, with its very broad taste in insects. Adding a pond with plant vegetation to your garden is the best way to get them to swoop down. Don't worry about mosquitoes setting up shop. Dragonflies devour them too.
Moths are yet another winged creature that plays a big role in pollinating plants. They also serve as food for your other beneficial bugs. Plant some nettle plants to attract them, and before long they'll join the good-guy army of butterflies, hoverflies, and dragonflies in your garden.