The word 'Insects' gives a scary feeling at first. Some sort of scary insects come to our mind whenever we hear the word ' insects'. We always think that the insects are troublesome for plants. But there are certain insects which are very much useful for plants. They directly or indirectly contribute to the healthy growth of plants. You might be wondering which are those insects. Let me give a brief knowledge about some useful insects for plants.
1. Lady Bugs:
Ladybugs are the foremost useful insects for plants. These tiny insects are commonly seen in red, yellow and orange colors. They feed on plant-eating insects such as aphids or scale insects, which are agricultural pests. These agricultural pests attack the garden and spoil the crop. In order to control such pests, Ladybugs play a very important role. They lay eggs on the colonies of these agricultural pests such that the larvae of the ladybug gets the food once it is hatched from the eggs. They also feed on mites, mealybugs and other small insects which spoil the crop. Hence they are commonly called as Natural Pest Controllers. One adult ladybug eats approximately 5000 aphids in its lifetime. But they are totally harmless for plants. Ladybugs can be attracted by planting dill, fennel, yarrow and other plants.
Earthworms are called as farmer's friend. It is a very useful creature for gardeners. It helps in making the soil fertile. It feeds on the debris, manure, rotten plant parts etc and ferments it. The worms feed on the organic waste and produce nutrient-rich manure in the form of excreta. This manure is called Vermicompost. This compost will be rich in Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium compared to other composts. The excreta of earthworms are nutritious and hence the soil becomes fertile. They move throughout the soil and loosen the soil. This will allow air circulation to happen inside the soil and the roots get enough space to grow and extend.
Flowers are the main source of nectar for bees. They feed on the flowers for their survival and also for their colonies. In turn, the bees also help them for the healthy growth. Maybe they are not helping the plants directly, but they show their gratitude indirectly. While sucking the nectar from the flowers, the pollen sticks to their body and propagate. When they sit on another flower, the pollens get exchanged and hence the pollination process takes place. This will lead to the formation of fruits. Without such pollinators, there would be no fruit and there would be no seeds hence no further growth. Both plants and the bees are interlinked in this biological system.
4. Ground Beetles:
Ground Beetles may scare you at the first appearance. But they are the most beneficial creatures for a garden. These insects feed on the pests which affect the crops in the garden. Beetles eat Aphids, Ants, caterpillars and other troublesome pests. So it can be a substitute for chemical pesticides. A single beetle larva can eat more than 50 caterpillars in its lifetime. As they do not feed on plants, your effort in growing the plants won't be getting wasted. Some variety of Beetles eat the seeds of rapidly growing weeds. Hence the nutrition which you have provided will reach your adorable plants.
Butterflies are one of the beautiful creatures which we find everywhere around us. Even though its larvae feed on the plants, these developed creatures do not harm the plants. They visit each and every flower in your garden and suck the nectar from them. While doing so unknowingly they help in the development of the plant. While extracting the nectar from the flowers from one flower to another, they carry the pollen and help in pollination. This is the way they show their gratitude for the plants.
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