When we think of bugs, we often think of pests that devour our gardens and leave them in ruins. But there are many good bugs that are essential for a healthy garden ecosystem. These bugs help to pollinate plants, control pests, and break down organic matter.

Good Bugs for Flowers

Some bugs provide a variety of benefits for flowers, including:

  • Pollination: Pollinators are essential for the reproduction of many plants. They transfer pollen from the male part of the flower (the stamen) to the female part of the flower (the pistil). This allows the plant to produce seeds and fruit.
  • Pest control: Many good bugs are predators or parasites of pests. They help to keep pest populations under control and prevent damage to plants.
  • Decomposition: Good bugs also help to break down organic matter, such as dead leaves and plants. This helps to improve soil quality and fertility.
    Some of the best good bugs for flowers

Best Bugs for Flowers

  • Ladybugs: Ladybugs are voracious predators of aphids, scale insects, and other pests.
  • Praying mantises: Praying mantises are ambush predators that eat a variety of insects, including grasshoppers, crickets, and beetles.
  • Lacewings: Lacewing larvae are predators of aphids, mealybugs, and other soft-bodied insects.
  • Ground beetles: Ground beetles are nocturnal predators that eat a variety of insects, including slugs and snails.
  • Syrphid flies: Syrphid fly larvae are predators of aphids and other small insects.
  • Bees: Bees are important pollinators of many plants.
  • Butterflies: Butterflies are also important pollinators of many plants.

Attracting Good Bugs to your Garden

There are a number of things you can do to attract good bugs to your garden:

  • Plant a variety of flowers: Different types of flowers attract different types of good bugs. Choose a variety of flowers that bloom throughout the growing season to provide a continuous source of food for beneficial insects.
  • Avoid using pesticides: Pesticides can kill both good and bad bugs. If you have a problem with pests, try using non-chemical methods such as handpicking, spraying oils or using insecticidal soap.
  • Provide water: Good bugs need water to drink and to lay their eggs. Place shallow dishes of water around your garden to provide a water source for beneficial insects.
  • Provide shelter: Good bugs need places to hide from predators and to overwinter. Provide shelter for beneficial insects by leaving some areas of your garden wild and unkempt.
  • Encourage natural predators: Good bugs, such as ladybugs and praying mantises, are predators of other insects. Encourage natural predators to your garden by planting flowers that attract them.

Praying Mantis

Praying mantises are special for a number of reasons, and are one of the most beneficial insects for flowers. They are voracious predators of a wide variety of pests, including grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, and caterpillars.

  • They are ambush predators. Praying mantises are masters of disguise. They blend in with their surroundings and wait for prey to come to them. Once prey is within reach, they strike quickly with their powerful front legs.
  • They have incredible vision. Praying mantises have two large compound eyes that can rotate independently. This gives them a wide field of vision and allows them to track prey from a distance.
  • They are ferocious hunters. Praying mantises are not afraid to tackle prey that is larger than themselves. They have been known to eat crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, and even small birds.
  • They are important pollinators. In addition to being predators, praying mantises also pollinate flowers. They do this by transferring pollen from one flower to another as they move from plant to plant.
  • They are fascinating creatures. Praying mantises are simply fascinating creatures to watch. Their unique appearance, predatory behavior, and ecological importance make them one of the most interesting insects in the world.

Additional interesting facts about praying mantises:

  • They are the only insects that can turn their heads 180 degrees.
  • Some species of praying mantises can fly.
  • Praying mantises have a lifespan of 6 to 12 months.
  • Praying mantises are native to all continents except Antarctica.
  • Praying mantises are revered in some cultures as symbols of strength and wisdom.