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Beneficial Insects

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Beneficial Insects

Post  auna01 on 4/6/2011, 12:51 pm

Hi I am part of a community garden and last year we really battled insects. This year we are trying to be more proactive. We plan on buying lace wing bugs, ladybugs, and praying mantis to add to the garden. We did ladybugs last year but they did not seem to stick around. We will be adding ladybug houses and some ladybug and lacewing food. A beehive has been added as well. My question is if we also add beneficial Nematodes (sp?) will they also kill the bugs we are introducing? Also if we increase our spaying of soapy water will this kill our beneficials too? And lastly we thought about getting some parasitic wasps but I was concerned that they would harm the lady bugs... This is also a concern with the praying mantis. Should I be worried or should I just go ahead and add some PW too? TIA - A

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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  nancy on 4/6/2011, 3:12 pm

I can't answer the nematodes question, but... I raise monarch caterpillars and really suffer from aphids. I plan on getting praying mantises this year, too. I just hope the birds don't eat them right away. On my milkweeds, I only use soapy water if I'm sure there are no caterpillars there. I take most of them home and raise them inside, but I'm sure I miss many of them!

Parasitic wasps are good for tomato hornworm, but not monarchs, so alas, they are not welcome in my garden. And what is a ladybug house? Now I'm curious! Smile I could use one.
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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  auna01 on 4/7/2011, 11:32 am

Basically it is a house to protect them from predators and the weather. Smile Here is an ehow link http://www.ehow.com/how_2078551_buy-ladybug-house.html Once I finish the tutorial I will post a link to my posting.

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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/7/2011, 11:38 am

I saw those ladybug houses, way too much for my budget. I did see a "butterfly house" kit at Hobby Lobby that looked just like a LB house for $5.

Introducing good bugs is going to help balance things, it may be that a few good bugs eat a few other good bugs, but the benifits outweigh the bad.

Placing tuna cans with water under bush plants will give toads and frogs water and encourage them to make a home in your garden. Break an opening in one side of a terra cotta pot at the top, turn it upside down and you have a toad home for them and lizards to hang out in during the heat of the day. If you want a good visual google toad homes, again I'm not paying $20 for something I can make (break) myself.

When spraying soap, spray the bugs you want sprayed directly, limit overspray on blossoms. You can add a bit of rubbing alchohol to make it more effective and work faster, thus less sprays.
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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  camprn on 2/26/2012, 2:40 pm

Bump

So HERE is a pdf of a poster about beneficial insects.

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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/26/2012, 2:56 pm

Ugh, right now my indoor herb garden is taking a beating from what look like fruit flies/gnats. They are driving me crazy! I have tried getting a photo, but they are just so dang small and even on macro setting, I still can't get a decent picture. Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  camprn on 2/26/2012, 6:16 pm

I get those too, sometimes; they don't usually last too long and I don't do anything to get rid of 'em. Annoying wee beasts!











i

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  shannon1 on 2/27/2012, 1:31 am

auna01 wrote:Hi I am part of a community garden and last year we really battled insects. This year we are trying to be more proactive. We plan on buying lace wing bugs, ladybugs, and praying mantis to add to the garden. We did ladybugs last year but they did not seem to stick around. We will be adding ladybug houses and some ladybug and lacewing food. A beehive has been added as well. My question is if we also add beneficial Nematodes (sp?) will they also kill the bugs we are introducing? Also if we increase our spaying of soapy water will this kill our beneficials too? And lastly we thought about getting some parasitic wasps but I was concerned that they would harm the lady bugs... This is also a concern with the praying mantis. Should I be worried or should I just go ahead and add some PW too? TIA - A
Attracting benefical insects to my organic garden is the main thing I do to battle the bad guys. Benefical nematodes prey on specific insects and live in the ground so they should not harm the insects who do not live there. Check out gardens alive "stay at home lady bugs" but if you don't want money going to Monsanto do not buy seeds from that company as they get seeds from Seminis a Monsanto owned company. You can plant herbs that that have small white flowers like dill and celantro, beneficals just love them. Parasitic wasps sold for gardens kill catapillers so you friends will be safe from them.

The key to organic insect control IMHO is to carefuly inspect the garden daily. Know the good guys from the bad guys, in all phases of development. I didn't know what hover fly larva looked like until after I had killed some Sad thought they were worms. Spray soap, hot pepper oil ... only when affected inscets are present.

A good early tip off to aphids are the ants they attract. I often see the ants first then find the well camoed aphids. Hope this helps. Just wondering what are you useing the nematodes to battle? Oh and one more thing mantis eat all bugs good and bad. Can you tell us what pests you had trouble with last year? We may be able to come up with some more ideas for you to consider.
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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  jkahn2eb on 5/21/2012, 5:34 pm

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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  jmsieglaff on 6/20/2012, 10:16 am

I was pushing some of my cucumber plants through the trellis squares this morning and noticed a number maybe 5-10 little flying insects. I can't post a picture because our camera battery died last night. They are exactly 1/4" long, have a three segmented body like an ant or wasp, their front two segments are dark and the last segment is more of a red-brown color. They've also have very small clear wings. I taped one to a paper plate and it appears to have a tiny stinger. I know they are mature insects because I found two under a leaf doing...well you know. Any one know much about parasitic wasps? There has been no damage to the plants and no eggs found on the leaves.
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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  jillintx on 6/20/2012, 12:29 pm

I use the parasitic wasps to control stable flies, and they are tiny - smaller than a gnat or fruit fly. What you've described is much bigger even at 1/4', so I don't believe that's what you found.
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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  ronaldjackman4 on 6/22/2013, 7:24 am

A beneficial insects are any of a number of species of insects that perform valued services like pollination and pest control. Although insects are commonly thought of as pests in just about every region of the world, one must take a time to their benefits in our everyday lives.
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MD/VA Beneficial Insects

Post  WriterCPA on 6/22/2013, 2:44 pm

Nice group of pictures from the Virginia Cooperative Extension for Maryland and Virginia. Seems we have fewer than California, but they do seem a hearty lot.

VA Coop Extension - Beneficial Insects for VA/MD

M
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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  gwennifer on 6/28/2013, 12:28 pm

Here's another link to a beneficial insects chart from Earthbound Farm Organic: Know Your Bugs
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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  unit649 on 6/28/2013, 9:02 pm

I found this little guy in my corn and beans SFG.  He was on my tulle covering, so he is upside down in this picture.  I have always heard that seeing a praying mantis in your garden was good luck and now after reading on here that he is beneficial, I see the reasoning.
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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  RoOsTeR on 7/24/2013, 7:29 am

Lady bug on my beans Very Happy 


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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/24/2013, 5:19 pm

RoOsTeR wrote:Ugh, right now my indoor herb garden is taking a beating from what look like fruit flies/gnats. They are driving me crazy! I have tried getting a photo, but they are just so dang small and even on macro setting, I still can't get a decent picture. Evil or Very Mad

I know this is a year later but wanted to put my 2 cents in. I use a vacuum cleaner on the gnats. I try not to disturb them until I am close and with the vacuum on I approach them and get them. You can get a lot of them in mid air. I hate those things. It seems like there is always at least one flying around bugging me.


RoOsTeR wrote:Lady bug on my beans Very Happy 


That is a picture worth framing!  You have an amazing camera!
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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  sanderson on 7/24/2013, 8:15 pm

Rooster, can you share what brand and model of camera? I would love to be able to take closeups.
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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  RoOsTeR on 7/24/2013, 8:30 pm

Thanks for the great advice on the gnats Tricia!
The camera is on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Very Happy 

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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  sanderson on 7/24/2013, 9:01 pm

Rooster, Thanks. I am in the market for a camera so I thought I would ask. Sig
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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  camprn on 7/25/2015, 10:32 pm

A cool blog post! With some great piccys.
http://www.greatstems.com/2013/05/dill-power.html

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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  CitizenKate on 7/25/2015, 10:47 pm

To take good closeup photos, you need a camera with a feature called "macro focus".  Most digital cameras you can buy now come with it, and yours may even have it, sanderson.  Look in your settings menu for "focus mode" or "focus settings" and look for anything that has "macro" in it.
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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  camprn on 7/25/2015, 10:49 pm

I found some of the orange eggs on the dill in my garden. I will try to get a photo tomorrow.

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Re: Beneficial Insects

Post  sanderson on 7/26/2015, 8:39 pm

Kate, it's time to up grade my iPhone so maybe it will have the feature.

Camp, Thanks for sharing the cool blog.

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