- Megan M.
- Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Your yard is full of insects and wildlife, many of which are beneficial in controlling pests and pollinating.
Managing Yard pests
Learn to identify beneficial insects that provide natural control of harmful pests.
Here are five to get you started:
- Lady beetles (Family: Coccinellidae) are voracious predators of aphids. Adult lady beetles consume several hundred aphids a day and larva eats 200 to 300 aphids a day as they grow
- Ground beetles and tiger beetles (Family: Carabidae) feed on aphids, caterpillars, other beetle larvae, fly larvae, mites, springtails, slugs, and weed seeds
- Assassin bugs (Family: Reduviidae) feed on caterpillars, aphids, beetles and can kill prey significantly larger than they are
- Green lacewings (Family: Chrysopidae) mainly eat aphids, but will also eat small caterpillars or beetle larvae
- Parasitic wasps (Family: Ichneumonidae) kills caterpillars and the larvae or pupae of beetles, flies, and other wasps by depositing eggs in prey and the developing larvae eat the host.
Avoid routine applications of pesticides.
Treat only affected areas rather than spraying your entire lawn or yard. When using pesticides, the label is the law. Require that your landscape company, if used, follow these strategies.
Wherever possible use non-chemical approaches to pest control; cultural controls such as pruning of affected areas, hand-removing insects and clearing away diseased debris are all ways to reduce pest populations naturally.
Use lower toxicity pesticides such as horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps, and biological controls. These effective, safe materials can control most plant pests.
Provide for wildlife
There are four basic needs for wildlife: food, water, cover, and a place to raise their young.
Learn to identify the wildlife that live in your yard.
- Plant native plants to provide wildlife habitat and food sources.
Plants Beneficial to Wildlife
Check out our Right Plant, Right Place blog post for more info on native plants.
- Provide wildlife shelters such as a bat or birdhouse.
- Keep natural wildlife shelters in your yard that may include woodpiles and older trees. Bugs and insects are an important food source for other wildlife.
- Provide a water source, such as a birdbath or a pond.
- Establish a butterfly garden by providing nectar and host plants for butterflies and beneficial insects.
Plants for attracting pollinators
Find out more here: Palmetto Wildlife Brochure
Managing pest responsibly and providing for wildlife are two steps to creating a Carolina Yard. Check out our guides on Healthy Soil, Recycling Yard Waste, and choosing the right plant