Lets first talk about some friendly insect pests. Not all insect pests are destructive. If you’re not extra careful in your garden, you might as will kill those insect pests that are useful and especially important as friends in the garden.
These insects get their livelihood from other insects as their source of food, and most of these food are the ones that destroys our crops.
Next time you visit your garden, be observant. Look closely each insect you see, verify if they’re enemy or friend.
To give you the idea how to indentify our garden friends, here they are…
• Parasitoids – Are natural enemies of destructive insect pests that host inside the body of insect pests to complete their development to adulthood.
Examples of parasitoids are the following…
1) Diptera (Fly and Miners) – Syrphid fly and flies
2) Hymenoptera (Wasp and Sawflies) – Wasp
• Predators – This kind of insect pests feed and damage directly to the destructive insects as their main source of food.
Predators includes the following…
1) Hemiptera (Bugs) – Bugs
2) Orthoptera (Predatory crickets) – Predatory crickets
3) Neuroptera (Lace wings) – Lace wings
4) Dermaptera (Earwings) – Earwings
5) Mantodea (Praying mantis) – Praying mantis
6) Araneae (Spiders) – web-forming spiders, Big jawed spider, Jumping spider, Combed-footed spider, Lynx spider, Crawling/Ground spider
7) Coleoptera (Beetles and Weevils) – Carabid beetles, Black beetles (like ants), Coccinelid, Lady beetle
Preserving Beneficial Insect Pests in our Garden
• Go Organic. Organic gardening is the most effective way of controlling insect pests, and besides environmental friendly.
• Practice companion cropping. Plant different kinds of crops in every cropping season to ward-off destructive insects. Insect pests are crop specific, meaning, they only attack a certain specific plant.
Next time you see these insects in your garden, try to identify them carefully so you’ll be aware which one is a friendly or destructive insect pests.
Your knowledge in identifying insect pests would increase your awareness to protect those beneficial insect pests and eradicate those destructive pests.
Insect pests that does not damage economically to vegetables are not considered enemies and are only in small population.
Other beneficial insect pests gives benefits to mankind in the following aspects…
1) Pollinators – Bees pollinates flowers in magnitude all day long which form flowers into fruits. Without pollination, no fruits will formed.
2) Decomposers – Maggots and grubs of beetles helps improve the soil by exuding decomposed excreta.
3) Source of food – Mole crickets, locusts, etc. are good source of food.
4) Biological control agents – There are some insect pests that eats another insect pests (e.g. praying mantis) and other predators.
5) Source of important products – Honey bees provides honey and wax that are used as ingredients in the manufactures of medicine and beauty products.
6) Silkworm are the source of silk which are used in the manufacture of fabrics.
There are insect pests our gardeners love, protect them and let them multiply into manifold.