Blog

Beneficial Insects and Harmful Insects

You have a garden, with beautiful fruits and flowers, but have found a lot of insects and bugs inhabiting your garden. Many people, when they see a bug in their grass or yard, might react poorly, wanting to exterminate the insects that have moved in to their flowers, vegetables, or lawn. It seems almost instinctual: an insect is in the garden, it must be removed before it harms the plants. However, not all insects are destructive. There are many beneficial insects that can help your garden grow to its most beautiful potential. The beneficial insects are nature’s way of removing harmful pests from your garden.

Harmful Insects

It is not hard to imagine harmful insects in your garden. Harmful insects destroy your plants, eat your fruit, ruin your flowers, and can turn your beautiful yard into a living nightmare.

A few examples of harmful insects include (but are by no means limited to):

Aphids: Aphids are like lice: they move into a garden, spread throughout all the plants, and can be hard to get rid of. They are small, usually less than 1/8” in size, and cause stunted plant growth and spread diseases among plants.

Grasshoppers: Grasshoppers chew on vegetation, and the majority of grasshopper species will eat any type of vegetation they can.

Mealy Bugs: feed on the juices of greenhouse plants and thrive in warm, moist environments.

Caterpillars: Not all caterpillars are harmful. Some may be beneficial, and many turn into butterflies, which will be beneficial. But in this stage of life, caterpillars are leaf-eating, plant destroying nuisances.

One reaction many people have to finding these harmful pests in their garden is to spray their garden with pesticides. Pesticides, however, can be very dangerous to your plants and soil life. They kill the harmful pests, but also the beneficial insects, damage your soil, and risk making your family and your pets ill.

Even organic pesticides can be harmful, if only because they can kill nature’s own pest removal service: the beneficial insects.

Beneficial insects

ladybugs, umbrellas, beneficial insectLady Bugs: Lady Beetles, or ladybird beetles, whatever they are called in your area of the world, are highly beneficial. Not only are they pretty, but they are the natural predators of aphids, mealy-bugs, mites, and larvae of a wide variety of harmful insects. Because of their voracious appetite for bugs that can destroy your garden, it is no wonder they are considered lucky! Ladybugs are attracted to dill, fennel, marigolds, and chives.

Praying Mantis: The praying Mantis is a distinctive insect, with its wide head, and long, green-to-brown body. Mantises eat other insects, including moths, mosquitoes, and flies. However, if a Mantis is hungry, it could eat other beneficial insects in your garden, including other Mantises. Mantises are also attracted to marigolds and dill.

Green Lacewings: Green Lacewings are called “Aphid Lions.” This is because they eat soft aphid bodies, mealy-bugs, spider mites, leafhopper nymphs, caterpillar eggs, scales, thrips, and white flies.

Bees, Butterflies, and ‘pollinators’ While a bee sting can be harmful to humans and pets, many species of bees help pollinate your flowers, allowing them to reproduce and make more beautiful flowers. Butterflies also help pollinate. While eating the nectar of your plants, the pollinating insects help spread the pollen of your plants. To attract pollinators, find beautiful native plants with bright colors.

How can I attract Beneficial Insects?

One of the biggest problems with most traditional pesticides is that they kill all garden insects, including those that are beneficial to your plants. Even many organic pesticides still destroy the insect life of your garden.

The simplest, and perhaps easiest way to attract beneficial insects to your garden is to plant the kinds of plants to attract the beneficial insects to your garden. Most beneficial insects are attracted to fragrant, bright colored flowers, and require a source of water as well. Leaving a source of water available, like a shallow dish or a small pool of water.

How can Biofeed Products help?

nutra-plus-12302014Biofeed Products are not pesticides. They are environmentally-safe organic fertilizers designed to help your plants attract beneficial bugs while repelling the bugs that harm your plant.

Biofeed Nutra-Plus is perfectly balanced to effectively feed the entire landscape regardless of the types of trees, flowers, plants or grass. The entire line of Biofeed liquid fertilizer products is designed to detoxify and repair soils damaged by traditional chemical fertilizers.

Feed your plants with Biofeed Nutra-Plus by attaching it to your hose while you water or installing in your automatic sprinkler system today!

Watering & Feeding your Lawn in the Summer with Biofeed Turf-Plus

One constant concern for homeowners is how to keep their lawns looking green and beautiful throughout the hot summer seasons. Watering your lawn in the summertime can often be tricky. Often, homeowners will water lawns too frequently, too shallowly, or not often enough. Both under-watering and over-watering can be deadly for your lawn’s health and can lead to costly landscape maintenance. With Biofeed Turf-Plus, a nitrogen rich liquid grass food, you can help your lawn grow to its most beautiful and save water.

1. How often should I water?

Lawns do not need to be watered every day. If you watch, pay attention to your grass, it will tell you when it needs water. Grass in need of water will develop a blue-gray tint, with older leave blades curling or wilting gently. If a significant portion of your grass (40%) does not “bounce back” after walking on it, it needs water.

Note: lawns that have been over-watered may display some of the same symptoms as lawns that need water. If your grass shows these symptoms and also shows evidence of run-off or puddles, do not water your grass.

Water your lawn only when it needs water.

Some cities or counties have regulations as to when and how often you should water. If this is the case, please abide by your local laws.

2. How much water should I use?

Depending on the type of grass, your lawn should get 1” to 2” of water per week.

For the best results, make sure that the water is getting into your root system, not running off into the street, your driveway, or sidewalks.

If you notice that water is forming runoff or puddles, stop watering for half an hour to allow your grass to absorb the water, or focus watering on another section of your lawn.

Check for dry spots, and hand-water those areas if necessary.

Make sure you test your soil to see if the water has penetrated the roots properly. Typically, this means your water has penetrated 6”-8” into the soil. It is easy to test your grass’s root system to see if it has enough water. We recommend two methods:

Take a 6” screwdriver and poke it into the ground. If it goes easily into your soil, your roots have probably received enough water.

  • Dig a small hole, about 6” deep into your lawn, and feel the texture of your soil. If it crumbles when you try to form a ball, it is too dry. If you can squeeze out water, it is too wet. Soil will be “just right” if you can form a ball without crumbling or dripping water.

Using Biofeed’s lawn additive, Biofeed Turf-Plus, can help your water penetrate to the roots in your soil, helping you save water and cut watering costs. Turf Plus will help your roots develop stronger and deeper, leading to a more beautiful lawn with more drought-resistant grass.

3. When should I water?

Some cities or counties have regulations as to when and how often you should water. If this is the case, please abide by your local laws.

One important thing to remember is to let nature water your grass when it can. If you live in a humid region with a lot of rain, you may not have to water as often as those living in the Southwest or desert regions. In particularly humid or rainy months, you may not even need to water at all. Whenever possible, preserve water from rainfall to use for watering your plants and lawn during drier weeks.

As far as the time of day for watering, it is best to water in the early morning, between 4AM and 9AM, before the sun has had a chance to rise. Watering in the afternoon can lead to a lot of water waste, as the water could evaporate before getting into the root system. Watering in the evening encourages fungal growth and can lead to an unhealthy lawn.

4. What if I have an Automatic Sprinkler?

Using an automatic sprinkler system can be extremely helpful in watering and conserving your water. Here are a few tips and tricks for automatic sprinklers:
Aim the sprinklers at the lawn instead of the street, driveways, or sidewalks to discourage run-off.

Install a Rain detector so your sprinklers don’t go off in the rain. If you’ve only experienced light rain, you may want to run the sprinklers briefly to give your lawn a boost. If you’ve been in a drought and are expecting rain, run your sprinklers briefly to moisten the soil.

5. How can Biofeed’s Turf-Plus help my Lawn?

turf-plus-12302014Biofeed’s Turf-Plus is a nitrogen-rich liquid grass food to help you have a beautiful, stunning lawn. Turf-Plus treats nutrient deficiencies, yellowing and mold damage. Turf-Plus also helps increase the health of your soil, allowing your grass to become stronger, with deeper roots and more resistant to disease and harmful, chewing insects. Instead, Biofeed attracts insects that are beneficial to your lawn.

Biofeed Turf-Plus can be used in both traditional watering with hose attachments or with automatic sprinklers!

Biofeed liquid fertilizers can be used with automatic liquid fertilizer applicators without need of mixing or measuring and without fear of clogging. Turf-Plus is a balanced combination of chelated nutrients and organic elements. Simply pour Turf-Plus into your automatic applicator and your applicator will take care of all the work for you!

Get started growing your lawn healthier with Turf-Plus today!