The Q&A Archives: Beneficial Bugs

Question: I have above the ground gardens and will be starting my plantings at the end of March. When is the appropriate time to put out ladybugs, praying mantis, and lace wings?

Answer: If you're purchasing predacious insects to help balance the population of destructive insects in your garden, you need to wait until there are enough bad guys out there to provide enough food for the good guys. If you release ladybugs and lacewings, and they find nothing to eat, they'll just fly away to another, more promising garden. Wait to purchase the insects until you're sure you have aphids and caterpillars chomping on the leaves of your plants. If you also plant things that have ray shaped flowers or small umbel-shaped flowers, you'll attract beneficial insects to your garden. They especially like members of the daisy family, plus yarrow flowers. Enjoy your garden!

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