If you’ve ever heard of tree bugs, chances are you’ll think of them as pests that can be harmful to the environment. You might also have a negative view towards them, especially if you have a garden to tend to, and you have plants you don’t want harmed by their existence. However, did you know that there are in fact tree bugs that may actually be good for your garden? This article will explore some of the common tree bugs that may bring more good than harm to your plants, and why you ought to keep them around to help you out.
If you’ve ever viewed tree bugs in a negative fashion, this might be within reason. After all, a lot of insects are generally viewed as capable of bringing a negative impact to society because of their influence towards various aspects of life – including being competition for natural resources, fiber, and food. Perhaps most evident are the direct impact of insects towards the agricultural food production industry because of what they do to various plants. However, there does exist some insects such as tree bugs that might actually be used to your advantage.
- Green Lacewing: True to its name, the adult green lacewing seems fragile at first glance, but it’s actually one tough bug to keep other pests away from your plants. The green lacewing, which goes under the Latin name Chrysopa, has green larvae that are also popularly called aphid lions.
- The green lacewing are delicate and slender, and are only about a half to three-quarters of an inch long. The adults have bodies that hold a pair of nettle wings upright. Their eyes are copper in color and they have long antennae.
- In order to keep the young lacewings from eating each other, the adults lay them on stalks that are threadlike and delicate, attaching them to leaves and stems. The younglings hatch after a week or two and they begin looking for their prey.
- They feed on aphids and other bugs, and they create pupae normally below leaves. The winged green lacewing adults get released in about a week’s time.
- Young lacewings are actually extremely helpful in terms of pest control, as they eat caterpillars, mites, thrips, whiteflies, and mealybugs.
- Ladybug: If there’s anything professionals such as Bellarine Trees would attest to, it’s that ladybugs are actually extremely helpful additions to your garden. Aside from their rather appealing look, ladybugs also help get rid of pests while doing no harm at all to your plants.
- Ladybugs are popularly known as ladybird beetles, and they go under Latin names such as Hamronia axyridis, and Hippodamia convergens among others.
- Ladybugs are perhaps one of the most familiar insects out there. They’re commonly orange or red in appearance with black spots over their bodies. Other variations include yellow with black spots, or even those that are solid yellow, black, orange, or red in colors.
- Ladybug larvae look like alligators with six legs, with a rough black or gray hide with a little orange as details.
- Females actually release clusters of orange eggs on plants to host their babies. The younglings are actually very eager to eat once hatched, and when the larvae begin to pupate, they emerge as the ladybugs you’re familiar with.
- Ladybugs like to eat insects with soft-bodies, such as soft scales, mealybugs, mites, and aphids, making them the perfect assistants against pesky pests in the garden.
- Spiders: These eight-legged creatures actually do a lot of help to the garden, especially considering how they can protect your trees against infestation. The spiders, given their natural tendency to eat other insects, are good natural assistants to fight against pests in your garden.
- Most species of spiders are generally harmless, which means while they may appear menacing and scary, they shouldn’t be a threat to you.
- Interestingly, spiders are prone to eating a lot of insects every day. If you have spiders living near a tree in your garden, then chances are the tree’s got a natural defense in the form of the spider as it may more or less eat the pests that can harm it. This is especially helpful against pests that spread diseases that can kill trees.
- Ground Beetles: Root maggots can be quite the dangerous critters, especially when left near trees in your garden. By the time they get inside your tree’s trunk, they might cause irreparable damage to your beloved trees. If you have ground beetles, however, you have a natural layer of defense against the critters.
- Despite their appearance, ground beetles are generally friendly insects – friendly in so much as they help you by making sure root maggots are killed because they eat them as part of their diet.
- Ground beetles are also good for your garden in general, as they can spread healthy bacteria all over the garden during their travels. Having them around can be considered killing two birds with one stone.
Conclusion: Tree Bugs For Garden Health
It’s perhaps time we give tree bugs more credit than they’re due, as there really are tree bugs that might benefit your garden through a wide variety of means. Knowing about these tree bugs and their inherent good traits can put you in a better position to take care of your garden with more natural means, which is perfect if you’re also pushing towards a greener, healthier environment around your home.
Daniel has worked in the management, cutting, and caring of trees for the last 20 years. He works and helps run Bellarine Trees and is passionate about the environment and tree worker safety. He has a wife and two daughters and he enjoys playing tennis in his spare time.