LadyBugsNot all insects are bad and annoying; many are beneficial to your lawn and garden. From pollinating to protecting your flowers, some will take care of pests that infect, damage and feed on your valuable landscape. Here are my three favorite good bugs to help tend the garden.

Our good friend the ladybug, with her round shell of orange with black spots, feed on soft-bodied insects. They dine on aphids, whiteflies, mites and insect eggs, and some, even on fungus and mildew. Their larvae resemble tiny alligators and are hungry allies for us. Release at dusk at the base of plants that are infested with bad bugs.
My next favorite is the camouflaged and stealthy praying mantis. This pest assassin is a hungry ambush predator with large eyes and a swiveled head. It has a green or brown body, which mimics sticks and leaves, with claws to catch and grasp prey while walking or flying from plant to plant. Its eggs sack contains approx. 200-300 babies. Eggs hatch after two weeks of temperatures above 75 degrees. They love to munch on aphids, scale and mites.

RedWormsRed worms or red wigglers are such a beneficial bug, helping with composting, breaking down organic matter quickly and efficiently from beginning to end.

Other noteworthy “good” bugs include lacewings, hover flies, assassin bugs, ground beetles, parasitic wasps and spiders.

Ask your local garden center about good bugs for your garden.