Identifying Insects in the Garden: Friend or Foe?

Shari Altman

Flickr photo by goingslo
Some insects are beneficial in the garden while other insects are garden pests. If you met this insect in your garden, what would you do?

Believe it or not, this is the larval stage of a ladybug. This little creature looks a bit menacing, don't you think? But don't let this larvae intimidate you. It's actually a friend of the garden!

It's important to know the life cycles of the beneficial insects so that you don't mistake them for garden pests. Ladybugs (even in their larval stage) eat aphids and act as a biological control for this garden pest. No chemicals necessary!

To attract ladybugs to your garden, simply plant dill, cilantro, tansy, and yarrow.

Cornell University has a free PDF on beneficial insects that may be worth printing up and keeping near your garden. My rule of thumb is always to identify the insect before killing it. It may be a beneficial insect that is helping your garden thrive.

Did you recognize this insect? Have you seen it in your yard?

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