5 Beneficial Insects to Combat Quebec Garden Pests

It’s already mid-March, and it seems like this year –as with every year –winter will never end. While we’re all sighing for clement spring weather, we can still find comfort in the fact there is one thing winter does keep away: mosquitoes.

But not all insects are bad news; some tiny critters can actually benefit you and your garden and luckily for us, one of them eats mosquitoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Read on to find out which five friendly crawlers can help you get rid of less desirable insects in your yard this summer, and how to get them to visit your yard more often.

Ladybug

Ladybug

Source: Wikipedia

Battles
Aphids

Why you want them on your side
This dotted beetle’s name comes from the fact Europeans believed the Lady Virgin Mary sent them to combat aphid infestations. Whether they were right or not, this adorable insect can polish off up to 5,000 aphids in its lifetime.

Attract them
Grow pretty flowers such as angelica, cosmos and yarrow to keep them happy.

Decollate Snail

Decollate Snail

Source: Wikipedia

Battles
Slugs and brown garden snails

Why you want them on your side
While this gastropod mollusk may look like carrying a giant spiral on their back might slow them down, don’t let it fool you. They take care of business by eating the eggs of slugs and garden snails, eliminating them before they go after all your plants.

Attract them
Decollate snails eat old leaf mulch instead of healthy plants, so leave some compost for them to snack on.

Orius 

Battles
Cutworms, mites, thrips, aphids, caterpillars

Why you want them on your side
The aptly-named Pirate Bug scuttles about your yard quietly, camouflaged by its distinctive black and amber coloring. It feasts on a variety of garden pests, including the cutworm, a caterpillar which begins eats the first plant it sets eyes on, literally ‘cutting’ it down.

Attract them
At 1/16th of an inch long, these tiny pirates are probably already cleverly hidden in your yard; you just can’t see them unless you’re looking for them.

Green Lacewings

Green Lacewing

Source: Wikipedia

Battles
Insect eggs, thrips, mealybugs, immature whiteflies and small caterpillars

Why you want them on your side
These delicate green insects are mostly active during the night, feeding on nectar, pollen and honeydew. Their young, however, are well known for their enormous appetite. Known as Aphid Lions, the Green Lacewing larvae use their sharp mandibles to terrify and get rid of all garden pests.

Attract them
Plant pollen-heavy flowers to attract breeding adults and ensure they have a cool, moist place to hide in during the day.

Dragonflies

Dragonfly

Source: Photopedia

Battles
Gnats, mayflies, flies and mosquitoes (that’s right, you need dragons to get rid of those suckers!).

Why you want them on your side
Not only do those delicate, jeweled insects look lovely when you glimpse them in your yard, but they are voracious eaters.  A single dragonfly can eat its own weight in food in about 30 minutes (we absolutely don’t recommend you to try this at home).

Attract them
Install a pond and ensure there are tall grasses and flat stones nearby. Dragonflies love to sunbathe, and you’ll love to watch them stand still for a few moments. Just make sure there are no fish in the pond if you don’t want them eaten.

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