We once had a pet mantis. Not the inside kind (because…just Eewww), but the kind of pet that lives outside on our kitchen window. My kids loved looking for it each morning. It was like a natural elf on the shelf hunt every morning. Our little “pet” loved our home garden area, and we loved the idea of him making a meal out of the harmful pests threatening our garden veggies.
I’ve come to learn that there is such a thing as good bugs (contrary to my previous fear of all things insects). Now that I’ve taken up the hobby of landscape and home gardening, I’ve discovered that some bugs actually help my garden thrive.
The trick is maintaining a happy balance of pest control by keeping the good in and the bad out.
So how do we do that successfully?
Knowing how to target the bad bugs without harming the good ones can be a tight rope to walk. With the ever-changing weather patterns here in Texas, it can be tough to manage alone. Enlisting the help of a professional team, knowledgeable in the life cycle stages and managing a healthy eco-system for the good stuff, can make all the difference.
Insects you WANT to have around your home and garden
The truth is, not all insects are pests. Some eat the bad bugs, and help us keep the bad bugs out naturally. Not only that, but we actually need certain insects to help continue the natural pollination process.
Bees pollinate flowers and crops. In fact, they can pollinate between 50-100 flowers in a single “meal” trip. Not only are they our most important pollinator, you can’t beat the tasty honey they make for us in the process.
Ladybugs eat garden pests like aphids and mites that can devour large shrubs, Crape Myrtle and garden veggies. Ladybugs can eat up to 50 aphids a day (consuming up to 5000 aphids in a lifetime). Ladybugs also eat fruit flies (my personal annoyance), Mites and other plant damaging insects.
Despite their creepy appearance, Praying Mantis are very helpful to have around your yard. They eat hornets and ants, aphids, leafhoppers, disease spreading mosquitoes, and caterpillars; threatening your home garden and landscape.
Other than black window and brown recluse, most spiders are beneficial in controlling the insect population naturally. I love having them near my patio because they help reduce the amount of flies and mosquitoes around our home.
Low-impact and eco-friendly pest control options
In order to create an environment favorable and inviting for the good bugs while keeping out the bad, a low-impact pest management plan is the best plan of action. Spraying an over all pesticide throughout your yard can be harmful to the bugs you actually want to keep around.
Chem-Free Pest & Lawn believes in reducing the impact on the environment whenever possible, and partners with you to do so. Their approach uses the least hazardous methods to the property and the environment. These practices actually help prevent pests from finding your home attractive instead of waiting to treat when you have a problem. Simple changes such as removing pet food from your patio, and making sure trash cans are sealed tightly can be made before any treatment is necessary. The best way to keep pests away from your home is regular monitoring and a solid prevention plan tailored to your individual needs.