It’s okay to fear spiders — they move fast and have way too many legs. But they’re an important part of our ecosystem — cellar spiders sometimes make webs to catch other spiders and pests and even disease-carrying insects like mosquitoes.
2. Stink bugs
Stink bugs are not the most pleasant bugs you can meet in the garden or at home but they’re just trying to find a warm place to survive during cold weather. But it’s in your best interest not to spray or kill them even though they release a funny smell as a defense. They also prey on caterpillars, plant-eating beetles, and aphids, so it’s better to try to relocate them outdoors.
3. Praying mantises
Praying mantises are big helpers against pests in the garden. A single species can eat dozens of insects — it helps to keep your plants from getting damaged. These insects are so useful that some people will even purchase praying mantises to release in their gardens themselves to prevent other insects from ruining things.
Ladybugs usually live outdoors and suffer the least amount of human violence due to their attractive shell. Not only are they pretty but they’re also extremely helpful — ladybugs eat garden pests like aphids, mites, fruit flies, and thrips. A single species can eat more than 50 aphids a day which makes up to 5,000 aphids in their lifetime.
5. Honey bees
Honeybees are an extremely valuable part of our ecosystem. They collect nectar and pollinate flowers and crops. A single bee visits up to 100 flowers in just one trip and they typically make several of them a day, not to mention the fact that they make delicious honey. However, this doesn’t mean you should start inviting the neighborhood bees over to your house.
6. Green lacewings
Green Lacewings are tiny but very valuable insects. Sometimes they’re called “stink flies” due to the foul smell they release when touched. Another name they’ve earned is “aphid lions” as they can consume up to 200 species a week. Lacewings also eat whiteflies, spider mites, leafhoppers, thrips, and mealybugs. There are even companies that offer their eggs for natural pest control.
Earwigs look intimidating since they have frightening pincers but they’re pretty handy to have around. Earwigs are relatively harmless and as long as you don’t touch them, they won’t use their pincers. They feed on dead insects and decomposing plant matter which is beneficial to your garden’s ecosystem.
8. Aphid midge
Aphid midges are the tiniest of flies. Feeding on approximately 60 different types of aphids, these bugs are priceless in the garden. As a matter of fact, they can exterminate aphids faster than ladybugs or lacewings. If you have a garden, consider this insect an eco-friendly and efficient method of pest control.
9. Braconid wasp
If you grow tomatoes in your garden, you should never kill the Braconid wasp. It feeds on the dreaded tomato hornworm and can save a whole crop of tomatoes. It kills other damaging pests as well.
10. Daddy long-legs
Many people call daddy long-legs spiders even though that’s not what they are. This arachnid is non-venomous, unlike spiders. The daddy long-legs’ diet includes a wide range of pests and spiders, making them incredibly advantageous to have in the garden or even around house plants.