Friend or Foe: What to Know About the Insects in The Garden

What to Know About the Insects in Your Garden

What to Know About the Insects in Your Garden

Trying to keep insects out of your garden is an impossible task, but that’s not a bad thing.  Having a wide variety of insect life in your garden is good for biodiversity and most of the insects you see are beneficial for the plants and flowers in the garden.  To keep your garden thriving it is good to leave wild areas, build a bug box and plant different flowering plants.

At the same time you need to know the good bugs from the bad.  Here are some of the more common insects you find in a typical garden and whether they are good for the garden or bad.

Friendly Insects


One of the easiest insects to recognize the ladybug has more than 250 varieties, they can come in orange, yellow, red, black and grey.  They dine mostly on aphids which is a good thing since aphids mostly dine on your plants.  Ladybugs will eat other soft insects as well, if you see one give a nod of thanks and let them be.


Without honeybees we would starve as a species, honeybees are responsible for 80% of the pollination of fruit, nuts, vegetables and grains.  The value of honeybees to agriculture is immeasurable.  Everyday honeybees visit all kinds of flowers and they can make a dozen trips per day from their hives looking for flowering plants.  The honeybee is without a doubt the most important insect in our world, so if you see one let them be.

Wasps, Hornets and Yellow Jackets

These poor guys are misunderstood and don’t have a lot of friends.  Often annoying and sometimes downright painful these insects keep your garden free of flies, aphids and thrips.  They will also break down old dead wood as well.

Not So Friendly


Aphids are pests that are almost impossible to get rid of, and they live on the soft tissue of plant especially new growth.  Aphids also attract ants, another pest you don’t need in the garden.  You can use your hose to spray them off your plants or add a few drops of dish soap to a spray bottle and spray your plants to get rid of them.  Encourage the natural predators like wasps and ladybugs.  Here is a video of some natural ways to get rid of aphids.

Slugs & Snails

While they aren’t insects they have only one purpose…to eat the leaves in your garden.  You can remove them from the garden by hand to reduce their numbers and you’re most likely to see them in the early evening or in the mornings.  If you can put up a copper barrier that will also keep them out.

There are more varieties of insects that are both friend and foe, if you’re unsure whether the insect is helpful or not then you can check them out on and find out for sure.

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