Wanted Alive: Beneficial Insects
The following Beneficial Insects are known to lurk in landscapes throughout the northeast: Assassin Bug, Predaceous Stink Bug, Predaceous Mite, Greenwing Lacebug, Bumblebee, and Trichogramma Wasp. As intimidating as they may sound, these insects are harmless to humans and beneficial to the plants on your landscape!
All insects, in their native habitats, have natural enemies that help control their populations. Many of the insects we consider "pests" have been introduced to our local environment and therefore, do not have a natural enemy. As a result, populations of these pests grow to unmanageable levels. Fortunately, beneficial insects (insects which feed on the larvae and adults of insects which are destructive to trees and shrubs) help keep your plants healthy in a natural way.
While these beneficials may seem like a perfect solution to pest conditions, they do not completely control pest populations. Some insects, such as predaceous mites may eat only six aphids a day - hardly enough when your andromeda is crawling with them. However, if these beneficials are either introduced or attracted to your landscape early in the season, they may help prevent a heavy pest infestation.
You may attract beneficial insects to your property by planting a variety of flowers which offer an abundant supply of pollen and nectar (food) such as: Queen Anne's Lace, sunflowers, yarrow, marigold, asters, dill, fennel, goldenrod and ivies.
Before you run to the store for a case of predacious stinkbugs, consider the effect each release will have on the ecosystem and remember that timing is an important factor when implementing the use of beneficials. For instance, trichogramma wasps should be released in late May or early June to do their best against pests.
Beneficial Insect Release is also an integral part of SavATree's Arbor Patrol Program. For more information, contact your arborist.
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