Posts Tagged With: beneficial insects

Wings of lace

I was very pleased to see this green lacewing on the coneflowers while I was photographing honey bees. Lacewings are a beneficial insect in a garden and as beautiful as any flower! This one was, most likely, feeding from the nectar of the flower along with the honey bees. It is the larvae of the lacewing that eats up soft-bodied insects such as aphids and caterpillars in the garden. They will, also, eat the larvae of other insects. To attract lacewings, you might want to plant (or allow to grow) flowers in the Asteraceae family such as sunflowers, dandelion, and cosmos and the Apiaceae family such as dill and angelica.

lacewing

 

 

Categories: Herbaceous Plants, Insects, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

hands off

Yes. Insects are becoming a big part of my life. I spend a lot of time smashing them, avoiding them, hunting them, and; quite possibly, even more time applauding them.

hornworm_wasp

(as usual, click for full page image and click, again, for closeup)

This tomato hornworm was sighted in the paste tomato patch. It is covered with the parasitic cocoons of the braconid wasp, a beneficial insect. The Tomato Hornworm can do a lot of damage to tomato plants. Not this one.

As I scroll through a list deciding to which category to assign this post; I see that “Strategies” is appropriate as well as “Gardens” and “Insects.” Different methods are employed, more or less intentionally, to achieve desired outcomes. I guess this strategy could be called “Hands off.” Outcomes? Food production without input of insecticides, food production with reduced labor input (spraying, squishing, swatting), joy, understanding, and awareness that I am part of nature. So, the next time, I wish for any one of these outcomes; I may want to consider this strategy as an option.

P.S. This strategy is closely aligned to Permaculture’s number one principle,  “Observe and Interact.” Check it out.

Categories: Fauna, Gardens, Insects, Strategies | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Praying mantis

prayingmantisjuvenile

I saw many egg cases hanging on stems and branches in the winter; so, it is no surprise to find plenty of these insects in the pasture now that the weather is warm. I took this picture of a praying mantis on July 1, 2013, a rainy morning. I stalked the evasive young mantis to take a picture while a biting fly stalked the back of my neck. Grrrr. The praying mantis is a beneficial insect in that it is a predator for many of the insects that create problems in our gardens and lives. However, it, also, eats other beneficial insects. Apparently, it can also eat small rodents, birds, snakes and lizards. Fierce!

mantis

Photo taken August 17, 2013.  Many full grown praying mantises sighted in the tall vegetation. This one in the Queen Anne’s Lace.

Categories: Fauna, Insects | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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