Beneficial Bugs for Your Yard and Garden

Monday, June 20, 2016

When you spot bugs crawling in your yard, do you automatically try to dispose of them? Don’t be too hasty. It turns out there are certain bugs that keep your yard and garden healthy. These beneficial bugs actually fend off the insects that damage your plants. Here are some of those natural helpers that Boston gardeners will want to keep around:

Praying Mantis

The praying mantis gets its name from the way it appears to hold its front legs up in prayer. But flies, mosquitoes, and crickets beware! The praying mantis seeks out and consumes small bugs and is swift enough to catch even the fastest insects. This carnivorous predator is the only insect able to turn its head side­to­side at a 180­degree angle and can detect the slightest movement of its prey.

How to attract:​ Rose and raspberry plants, tall grass, shrubbery.


The name ‘ladybug’ encompasses several different species of tiny black­spotted bugs. Many of them eat aphids­­a common garden pest­­sometimes as many as several thousand in one summer. Other ladybugs prefer to feed on mites, mealybugs, and scale insects.

How to attract:​ Angelica, scented geranium plants

Ground Beetle

There are numerous types of immature and adult ground beetles that may be crawling around your property. Ground beetles are natural predators, feasting on snails, maggots, and mites. You can find ground beetles hiding in dark, damp places like under rocks and logs.

How to attract:​ Stones, logs

Hover Fly

Often mistaken for yellow jackets or bees, these insects don’t sting. You can differentiate them by the number of wings on their bodies ­­two wings instead of four. Hover fly larvae hunt up to 400 mealybugs and aphids before adulthood.

How to attract:​ Herbs, pollen­rich flowers

Honey Bee

Gardeners love pollinating honey bees. These yellow and black winged creatures can hold as much as half their weight in pollen as they buzz around your yard. It’s because of these bugs that fruit, vegetables, and flowers get properly fertilized.

How to attract: Flowering plants rich in nectar

Here at Patriot Pest Management, we offer surface insect control to keep your landscape free of damage­ causing bugs. We’ll also protect your ornamentals with our 5­ step tree and shrub program with insect control. Plus, our experienced technicians use products that contribute to the optimal health of your lawn. Trust us to help you create and maintain the yard and garden of your dreams.