Bugs: Bad Guys / Good Guys







Good Guys

We all know the bad guys — let me introduce you to some of the good guys: beneficial insects.  Beneficial insects are key to our survival.  Like a hand grenade tossed in a crowd, indiscriminate use of pesticides kills not only the insects damaging crops but beneficials as well.  Think of it as killing off your allies in the war to protect your garden.  Why would you want to do that?

Since 1945, chemical pesticide use in the United States has grown tenfold in both amount and toxicity; however, the share of crop yields lost to insects has nearly doubled during the same period. (David Pimentel, 1991).

It is time to get rid of the “destroy everything approach” and recruit the beneficials to our side. We hope this site will give you some better ideas on how to address those pests munching on your lettuce — in a way — that is safe for the environment, your kids, and the beneficials.

Here is a list of beneficials (sometimes called pollinators).  Be on the look out for them and invite them to stay.

Attractive plants

Plants that attract “Good Guys” are in the Apiaceae family (Parsley) and Asteraceae family (this is the largest group of flowering plants and includes herbs, shrubs, and less commonly trees.  Consider planting some of these.

  • Plants that Attact Good Guys – This article from California, ‘Plants That Attract Beneficial Insects’, has pictures and drawings of insects that are common to the Pacific Northwest (WSU Clark County Extension Site).

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