Beneficial Insects

Beneficial Insects

Danger lurks in a backyard garden. Aphids, cutworms. mealybugs and other pests are preying on your vegetables and flowers. Forget nasty, expensive chemicals, enlist the aid of “good bugs” that will battle and help control pest outbreaks and won’t even ask for a thank you, let alone a pay check.

Gardeners turn to biological control for help and to reduce or eliminate the need for chemical pesticides. These insects are the natural enemies of garden pests. That;s great news for growers because it means there is an effective, non-toxic approach for solving your bug blues. But the benefits don’t stop there!

The Problem with Pesticides

Secondary Pest Outbreaks

the problem with broad spectrum conventional pesticides is that they not only kill the “bad bugs,” they rub out the “good bugs,” too. A garden without natural predators means a world of insects gone wild. There’s nothing left to keep pest levels in check. In fact, chemicals can mean double trouble because although you wipe out the first wave of pests, the second wave can cause even greater losses than the insects you were trying to get rid of in the first place.

Pesticide Resistance

Still not convinced? Another reason to go natural and use beneficials, is that a greater number of insects are now showing resistance to chemical pesticides. For example, in a controlled laboratory experiment, fruit flies were exposed to DDT-a banned pesticide. The research found that not only did the pesticide not kill them, but the fruit flies had developed a way to metabolize it. That is, the “super” flies could use the pesticide as food.