Beneficial insects and bugs to encourage into the garden – provide ‘natural pest control’

Alan Titchmarsh shows off flower garden

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Bugs in the garden can be incredibly helpful by eliminating unwanted pests and pollinating flowers. Chris Bonnett, from, said: “Encouraging the right type of bugs to take residence in your garden provides a long-term pest control solution, which is a good alternative to using chemical pesticides.

“This will allow you to grow your plants and vegetables organically, it’s good for the environment and it also keeps the garden maintenance costs down.

“You can attract the beneficial bugs into your garden by creating an optimal environment for them to thrive in.

“A few examples of how to make your garden insect-friendly is growing a diverse selection of plants, letting part of your garden grow wild or creating a compost heap.”

Despite their colourful look and sweet name, ladybirds are predatory insects.

According to Chris, they love to feast on pests, devouring about 50 aphids per day.

The expert said: “These little bugs with a big appetite are one of the best options for natural pest control.

“Similar to ladybirds, lacewings enjoy munching on aphids, especially black flies, who are very damaging to your vegetable plot. 

“Lacewing larvae are especially useful because they can consume 200 aphids per week.”

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Ground beetles may look scary, but they are extremely good for getting rid of slugs and snails.

On top of that, Chris said they also feed on weed seeds, making them ideal for those struggling with weeds.

To attract ground beetles, it is good to collect fallen leaves into a pile, place logs onto a stack or leave your compost open.

The expert continued: “Although many people get uncomfortable with the idea of welcoming spiders into their living spaces, these little creatures are actually very beneficial in your garden. 

“Spiders are not picky when it comes to their diet, so they will eat a variety of insects and are not interested in your vegetable crops.”

Leaving a loose layer of mulch between plants can help attract spiders.

They also like tall plants.

Butterflies are one of the most important pollinators for the garden.

Chris said: “They help plants to reproduce.

“They also attract other beneficial insects to the garden.

“Like butterflies, bees play a vital part in the pollination process which is critical for increasing your harvest. 

“The vast majority of plants we need for food rely on pollination, especially by bees.”

Hoverflies are also useful to have in the garden.

According to the expert, they act as both pollinators and pest controllers.

Chris added: “In their larval stages they ferociously consume aphids, thrips, scale insects and eggs and when they reach to an adult stage they feed off pollen and nectar.”

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