Friday, April 19, 2024

Three Generalist Insect Predators you Need to Know!

Are you worried about pests in your garden? 

Are you even more worried about constantly needing to spray harsh pesticides on your plants to control pest populations? 

There are alternate ways to keep harmful insects away from your plants.

One of the best methods for managing pest populations is keeping a healthy population of generalist insect predators in your garden!

Maintaining a population of generalist predators, also commonly referred to as “good insects”, is a commonsense solution to pest infestations. After all, the goal of pest control is to kill off harmful insects. 

While pesticides accomplish this through chemical methods, a predator eating its prey ends up with the same result. However, there is an important difference between pesticides and generalist insect predators: the effect they have on your plants. 

Pesticides can have negative effects on plants, unintentionally harming the plants they’re supposed to preserve. Generalist predators eat only insects, which means that there’s no need to worry about one of them taking a bite out of a plant leaf.

Here’s some quick information on various types of generalist insect predators:

1. Minute Pirate Bug

Minute Pirate Bug Consuming Prey
Minute pirate bugs primarily feed on small insects such as aphids, thrips, spider mites, and other soft-bodied pests. They do well in diverse gardens that provide shelter and nectar for the pirate bugs. Marigolds, daisies, and other flowering plants will keep your pirate bug population happy and thriving. Another notable characteristic of minute pirate bugs is their quick reproduction time: their life cycle is just 3-4 weeks long.

Add minute pirate bugs to your garden at ARBICO Organics.

2. Green Lacewings

Lacewing Larva Consuming Aphids
Lacewings are beloved by gardeners because they devour soft-bodied pests and do not eat plants.
Though lacewings will happily eat any type of soft-bodied insects, they are primarily used as a means of aphid control in agriculture. 
Lacewing Adult

When comparing the lacewing to another good insect, the ladybug, lacewings consume more aphids per day. 

However, ladybugs tend to keep wide habitats and will not stay put in your garden. Lacewings are happy to stay in a smaller range.

Interested in getting lacewings for your garden? ARBICO has your back.

3. Praying Mantids

Young Praying Mantis
Mantids are the kings of generalist predators. They will happily eat common garden scourges such as aphids, mosquitoes, and caterpillars, and they will also eat insect eggs. However, mantids will also eat beneficial insects and other generalist predators such as lacewings, ladybugs, and butterflies. When using praying mantids in your garden, be sure to monitor their population level.

Establish a mantid population by buying eggs
from ARBICO Organics. 

Not sure what generalist predator is best for you? Give us a call! Our team of specialists will be happy to help you select the best method of control for your pest issue! Find out how to reach us here!

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