Beneficial Insects in the Lawn
Do you remember the last time you really took notice of the insects that call your yard home? Chances are, it was around the same time that you noticed the ugly dead spot in the grass, or the chewed-up leaves of your shrubs. Many people don’t take notice of insects until there’s a problem. While there are some pest insects that can wreak havoc in your yard, most insects are actually beneficial.
There are several things that you can do to make your lawn a more attractive and safer place for beneficial insects and other natural enemies.
- Consider increasing the diversity of plants in your lawn. Different types of plants attract and create habitat for different natural enemies.
- Include a variety of native flowering plants in or around your lawn. Try to make sure that there are blooms available throughout most of the year. Pollinators, lady beetles, and some other types of beneficial insects need pollen and nectar to survive.
- Weak plants can be more susceptible to damage from insects and disease. Prevent pest outbreaks by keeping your lawn and other plants healthy.
- Select grasses and other plants that are appropriate for your region. These plants typically require less water and have fewer pest problems because they have evolved to live in the conditions in your area.
- Make sure that the type of grass you plant in your yard will get the correct amount of sunlight and drainage.
- Keep your lawn healthy by removing thick layers of cut grass, watering and fertilizing appropriately, and mowing at the correct height. Monitor your lawn for signs of a pest problem. Think about how many pests you can tolerate. Remember, it’s normal to have some pest insects in your lawn.
- If you choose to use a pesticide, consider selecting one that will target your pest specifically, rather than using a broad-spectrum product. Biological pesticides, for example, often target a specific insect or group of insects.
- Get to know your beneficial insects. We can help you get started with a quick list, and there are picture guides linked below.
If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictures of Beneficial Insects:
Last updated June 12, 2015