Melinda's Garden Moment: Attracting Beneficial Insects to Your G - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Melinda's Garden Moment: Attracting Beneficial Insects to Your Garden

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Join forces with nature and increase garden productivity, while keeping garden pests under control.

Honeybees pollinate our flowers, are essential for much of our food production and plant reproduction. But other insects like the hummingbird moth do the same. Many garden flowers like bee balm and phlox help bring them to your garden.

Grow a few plants to attract predatory insects to your landscape. Dill and its relatives attract parasitic wasps; coreopsis brings in the aphid-eating lacewings; and milkweed attracts lady beetles as well as monarch butterflies. Add some hyssop to attract the pirate bugs that eat thrips, spider mites and leafhoppers and members of the aster family to attract spiders that eat a variety of insects.

And avoid pesticides that kill both the good and bad insects in the garden.

The small Trichogramma wasp helps keep harmful caterpillars like cabbage worms under control.  The adult lays its eggs in the caterpillar eggs, preventing the caterpillar eggs from hatching and feeding on the plants. These wasps also attack gypsy moths, tomato hornworm, cutworms, codling moths, armyworms, corn borers, fruitworms, and cane borers.

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