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Weeds are considered food by many insect species, including 30 percent of beetles. Many species of flies, such as house flies, feed on decaying organic matter. They can also be found in garbage cans and around outdoor animal enclosures. Unchecked flies can produce two or more generations a month. So, what can we do to protect our yard?
Plants that repel insects
If you want a garden free of bugs, consider growing a plant that repels insects. Several plants contain compounds that repel insects. Mint is one of these. Despite its aggressive growth in gardens, this plant repels bugs and is used as a commercial insecticide. Catnip, a member of the mint family, repels flies, mosquitoes, and other insects by giving off a sweet fragrance. Lavender is also a natural insect repellent, and it can be applied as a body oil to keep away bugs.
Another plant that repels insects is bay leaf. These are edible and are often used in soups. They can be purchased at a grocery store and sprinkled around areas of the garden where bugs are most prevalent. Other popular plants that repel insects include chives, a type of allium. Chives are a great deterrent for Japanese beetles. Chrysanthemums naturally contain pyrethrum, a chemical common in insect repellents.
Geraniums are another plant that repels insects. This member of the geranium family has a citrus scent. When crushed, the foliage releases oils that repel insects. These plants are best grown in warm climates, but they can also be grown in cold climates. Those in colder climates can plant scented geraniums in containers for protection. They produce a strong citrus fragrance, which repels bugs for up to 30 minutes.
Chrysanthemums are another excellent choice for gardens. Their fragrant flowers and long lasting fragrance repel several types of insects, including aphids, ants, and slugs. While they are not an ideal choice for gardens, these plants are excellent for sprucing up the garden. They are also a popular choice for home owners who want privacy. Depending on the strain, they can be large enough to protect an entire garden.
Rosemary is another herb that works great as a bug repellent. The oil is more powerful than the plant’s scent, but rosemary is also a great plant for cooking. You can use rosemary oil to make DIY bug repellents. You can also plant chives, which are perennial plants, in your landscape. These herbs are not only effective at repelling insects, but they also work as a companion plant for vegetables.
Marigolds repel mosquitoes, aphids, and other pests. Some types repel nematodes, but they take a year for the repelling effects to show. Marigolds also repel white flies and aphids. Some varieties also repel Mexican bean beetles. However, you should plant marigolds in containers near the entrance of your home or garden.
Some plants repel insects naturally, which is why they are often used in garden settings. These plants are sometimes used to repel pests by forming companion gardens. This practice is known as companion planting, and it is based on anecdotal evidence. Insects have a preferred food source, and they find these foods by scent. By planting these plants around vegetables, they can confuse their scent and therefore avoid being attracted to your veggies.
Plants that attract insects
Some plants produce a scent to attract insects and use it as an advertisement for food. These insects move around in flowers to collect pollen and nectar. These pollen grains sit atop long, thin stalks in the center of the flower, and they collect on an insect’s legs and underside. The pollen grains then travel down the stigma tube to the ovules, where the eggs are found. Once fertilized, the ovules will develop into seeds.
Many beneficial insects like the flowers and leaves of fennel, dill, cilantro, and caraway. Plants in this family have a licorice-like fragrance and are good for attracting beneficial insects. For best results, plant them in shallow containers with ample water. This will keep them happy. Aphids are also naturally attracted to the scent of lavender. Several plants in the Verbenaceae family attract both insects and pollination.
The Hawthorn, for instance, is a traditional hedge plant with white blossoms. Ladybirds like to munch on aphids, and they also reduce the amount of pesticides you must use. Sedum is an important garden staple because it is hardy and comes in many varieties. It’s an excellent plant for attracting butterflies and other beneficial insects. Other plants that are popular with insects include dill, fennel, and angelica.
Ladybugs are another insect you might want to keep in your garden. They feed on aphids and other insects, and their larvae can eat up to 5,000 aphids in one lifetime. The adult ladybug’s body is a red or yellow color, and has a distinctive yellow or black spot on it. Ladybugs can also carry plant viruses. Whiteflies are related to aphids and scale insects, and are often mistaken for mealybugs. The wings are capped with a powdery wax.
Many flowers attract insects and are helpful to wildlife. The oxeye daisy and bird’s foot trefoil are great pollinators. Hedgerows are also an excellent way to attract insects to your yard. Plants that attract insects can make a garden a haven for wildlife. Using these flowers as food in your garden is a great way to keep insects happy and healthy. You’ll be surprised how many species of insects your garden will attract.
It’s important to remember that beneficial insects need water. They will move from flowering plants to crops near them. You can also add mulch to your vegetable garden to provide an ideal habitat for ground beetles. A shallow pot saucer topped with pebbles and water can also help provide water for beneficial insects. The ground beetles, for example, are attracted to mulch, which provides a good place for overwintering.
Crabapples are small to medium-sized trees with beautiful spring displays. They also produce fruit in the fall. Crabapples attract woodpeckers. You can select cultivars that are more hardy and hold their fruit well into the winter. Crabapples can be used as a nesting site for bluebirds, red-eyed vireos, and the great crested flycatcher. Aside from providing food and a nesting area for wildlife, the flowers are also attractive to birds.
Beneficial insects attracted by weeds
Many people do not realize that their gardens are attracting beneficial insects. Many insects love the pollen and nectar that common weeds provide, which can be helpful to other insects. Nasturtiums, Queen Anne’s lace, and yarrow are some of the many plants that can attract these beneficial insects. Here are some simple methods to make your garden a haven for these insects. By using a variety of weeds and a water feature, you will attract beneficial insects in your garden.
Many of these insects need flowers in order to reproduce. You can help them reproduce by interplanting beneficial plants near problem areas of your yard. Flowers that are attractive to these insects are those that bloom for long periods of time. In addition to flowers that attract these beneficial insects, you can also plant weeds that contain a variety of seeds and are known for being resistant to disease and insect pests. If you plan on allowing weeds to grow on your lawn, choose ones from the same family as the weeds you want to eliminate.
A few species of weeds are particularly beneficial to beneficial insects. Catnip and shepherd’s purse are good examples of early-season weeds that are useful to gardeners because they attract cats. Some species of flowering herbs are excellent sources of nectar for beneficial insects. Bees are particularly fond of flowering herbs, so don’t be afraid to plant them wherever you can. The best time to harvest these flowers is when they are just beginning to bloom, but leave a few stems or whole plants to attract pollinators.
Another common insect that can help your garden is the ladybug. Ladybugs are famous for their ability to feed on aphids. Ladybugs are omnivorous predators and lay as many as 1,000 eggs in their lifetime. Ladybugs also feed on a variety of other insects, including plant bugs and eggs. Ladybug larvae eat up to 400 aphids in one night.
Aside from ladybugs, chinch bugs also attract beneficial insects. They are tiny insects that feed on a variety of pest insects, including aphids, fall armyworms, and leafhoppers. They’re a great way to reduce the population of bad bugs in your garden while also reducing your chemical insecticide use. These insects are essential in the fight against pests and help the environment look great!
For further information about the beneficial insects that are attracted to weeds, read books on the topic. Two books by Mary Louise Flint, UC Davis Entomologist, are excellent resources for educating yourself on these insects and their benefits. These books will also teach you how to cultivate a thriving ecosystem where weeds and bad bugs can coexist. So, start your garden now and start benefiting from it!