Helpful bugs in your garden – Don’t kill these!

At least for me, when I see a bug inside my house I kill it or relocate it outside. But some bugs might be helpful in garden at eating other bugs that would otherwise take out your crop.

Here are some bugs that I learned about that can help in the garden, reduce the need for pesticides, and don’t look too creepy:

Screenshot from 2022-05-14 15-10-56

Ladybugs – Cute, usually left alone by other bugs so they won’t be eaten themselves, and they eat aphids, mealy worms, leafhoppers, and mites.

Screenshot from 2022-05-14 15-10-01

Tachinid fly – They lay their larvae in the backs of other bugs like caterpillars and moths. When the larvae hatch, they consume the host they have been planted in. SICK! But helpful…

Screenshot from 2022-05-14 15-11-53

Green Lacewings – They eat aphids, whiteflies, leafhoppers, and mealybugs

Screenshot from 2022-05-14 15-12-30

Fungus gnat predator – The only creepy looking one I’m adding on the list because of how helpful they are at eating fungus gnats, gnat larvae, and spider mites. I’ve had issues with fungus gnats before and they will destroy your plant, wish I had a few of these predators earlier.

Screenshot from 2022-05-14 15-13-09

Praying mantis – They eat moths, beetles, crickets, and caterpillars.

Screenshot from 2022-05-14 15-14-20

Spiders – I usually kill spiders because I don’t know the ones that could turn around and kill me. Self defense? But spiders are helpful in the garden at killing many various bugs so it’s best to leave them be.

Screenshot from 2022-05-14 15-15-49

Bees – You may be afraid of getting stung, but we need to save the bees. They bring fruit to your garden by pollinating the flowers.

Screenshot from 2022-05-14 15-16-21

Worms – If you find a worm, take it to your garden and they will aerate your soil and break down compost into rich fertilizer.

Screenshot from 2022-05-14 15-17-01

Toads – Not a bug, but a slug and bug killing machine. You may like one of these going around your garden than some of the creepy bugs.

Screenshot from 2022-05-14 15-17-49

Baby chicks – Baby and young chicks will clean up a garden of invading pests, but once they grow up they start to realize that they can eat the berries and other leaves of your plants.

You can buy many of these insects online, at your local nursery, or maybe a hardware store. For example, here are 1000 green lacewing larvae for $24


  • Comments (3)

    • 2

      For me, the best way to control the bad insects and not harm the good ones, is to spray Spinosad on my plants just before dark.  Spinosad will only kill the bugs eating your plants.  The good guys that eat bugs are safe.  If you were to spray Spinosad directly on a good bug, it might kill them.  That is why I spray right before dark, when the good guys have flown away for the night.  This way the chemical can dry on the plant and then kill the next bug that takes a bite.

    • 2

      Great list and photos! May I add Soldier Beetles? They are very beneficial predators, but many people are afraid of them, for some reason. https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=46421

    • 1

      Thank you for the post, Olly. I’m a new gardener and need all the tips I can get. I’m slowly getting over an aversion to bugs and learning to look at them without a shudder.