23 Beneficial Insects & Creepy Crawlies Great for Your Garden

  • By: admin
  • Date: July 2, 2023
  • Time to read: 8 min.
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Welcome to our comprehensive guide on beneficial insects and creepy crawlies that can greatly contribute to the health and vitality of your garden. In this article, we will explore a wide variety of fascinating creatures that play vital roles in maintaining the balance of your garden ecosystem. From predators and parasites to pollinators, these beneficial bugs can help control pest populations, enhance pollination, and promote overall garden health. So, before you reach for that fly swatter, let’s delve into the world of these amazing garden allies.

The Importance of Beneficial Insects

Insects are more than just pests; they are intricate components of our garden ecosystems. By understanding the value of beneficial insects, we can work towards creating a harmonious environment where they thrive, contributing to the well-being of our plants and the overall health of our gardens.

Creating a Garden Haven

To attract and retain beneficial insects, it is crucial to provide them with the resources they need to thrive. Here are some practical steps you can take to create an inviting habitat for these garden allies:

1. Plant Diversity for Pest Control

Monoculture, or the cultivation of a single crop, can attract specific pests that thrive on that particular plant. By practicing crop rotation and interplanting a variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers, you can disrupt pest cycles and create a less appealing environment for unwanted insects. Companion planting, such as growing marigolds near tomatoes or basil near peppers, can help repel pests and attract beneficial insects.

2. Incorporate Native Plants

Native plants are adapted to the local climate and provide a familiar and abundant food source for native insects. By including native plants in your garden, you can attract a diverse range of beneficial insects that have co-evolved with these plants and have specific relationships with them.

3. Provide Water Sources

Just like any living organism, insects need water to survive. By providing a water source such as a shallow birdbath or a small water feature, you can ensure that beneficial insects have access to the hydration they need.

4. Avoid Excessive Use of Pesticides

Pesticides, although designed to target specific pests, can harm beneficial insects as well. Whenever possible, opt for organic pest control methods that are less harmful to the overall ecosystem. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques, which involve a combination of biological, cultural, and chemical controls, can help strike a balance between pest management and the preservation of beneficial insects.

The Beneficial Insects You Need to Know

Now that we understand the significance of beneficial insects in the garden, let’s explore some of the most valuable and interesting creatures you can invite into your backyard:

1. Soldier Beetle

Cantharis Rustica Soldier Beetle Cantharis Rustica Soldier Beetle. Digitally Enhanced Photograph. Soldier Beetle stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Scientific name: Cantharidae

The soldier beetle is a predatory insect that feeds on aphids and caterpillars, making it an effective natural control for garden pests. You can attract soldier beetles to your garden by planting flowers such as goldenrod, marigolds, and zinnias.

2. Big-Eyed Bug

Scientific name: Geocoris

The big-eyed bug is a small but mighty predator that preys on aphids, caterpillars, and mites. It is an excellent addition to any garden aiming to control pest populations. Attract big-eyed bugs by planting cosmos, fennel, and goldenrod.

3. Hover Fly

Syrphidae insecto parecido a la abeja Syrphidae is a family of brachyceran diptera whose adults drink nectar from flowers adopting the appearance of bee-like Hymenoptera. hover fly stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Scientific name: Syrphida

The hover fly, also known as a flower fly or syrphid fly, is a small, bee-like insect. Their larvae are voracious predators of aphids, thrips, and other small insects. In their adult stage, hover flies act as pollinators. You can attract hover flies to your garden by planting a wide variety of flowering plants, especially those with small, open flowers such as daisies and yarrow.

4. Lacewing

Scientific name: Chrysopidae

Lacewings, with their delicate, lace-like wings, are both beautiful and beneficial to the garden. Their larvae are known as “aphid lions” for their appetite for aphids. Lacewings also feed on other soft-bodied insects like mites and caterpillars. Attract lacewings by planting angelica, cosmos, and sweet alyssum.

5. Ladybug

Harmonia axyridis Asian Ladybeetle Insect Harmonia axyridis Asian Ladybeetle Insect. Digitally Enhanced Photograph. ladybug stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Scientific name: Coccinellidae

Perhaps the most familiar of beneficial garden insects, ladybugs are well-known aphid predators. Both the adult beetles and their larvae feed on aphids and other soft-bodied pests. To attract ladybugs, plant marigolds, dill, and fennel.

6. Parasitic Wasp

Scientific name: Ichneumonidae, Braconidae, and others

Although the idea of a parasitic wasp may seem a bit unsettling, these insects are incredibly beneficial in controlling garden pests. Parasitic wasps lay their eggs inside pests, and the developing larvae feed on their host, eventually killing it. Different species of parasitic wasps target different pests, such as caterpillars, beetles, and aphids. Attract these wasps by planting a variety of nectar-producing flowers.

7. Ground Beetle

Ground Beetle Ground Beetle ground beetle stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Scientific name: Carabidae

Ground beetles are nocturnal predators that feed on a variety of garden pests, including slugs, snails, and cutworms. Providing a habitat with plenty of ground cover, such as leaf litter or rocks, can attract ground beetles.

8. Tachinid Fly

Scientific name: Tachinidae

Tachinid flies are important biological control agents. Like parasitic wasps, their larvae develop inside host insects, controlling the populations of various pests. These flies are attracted to a wide range of flowers, so a diverse garden is sure to bring them in.

9. Praying Mantis

A Praying Mantis with blurred background. A Praying Mantis with blurred background. parying mantis stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Scientific name: Mantidae

The praying mantis is a famous predator with a voracious appetite. These insects feed on a variety of pests, including aphids, caterpillars, and beetles. Praying mantises can be attracted with tall plants and shrubs where they can perch and hunt.

10. Earthworm

Scientific name: Lumbricina

Not an insect, but rather an invaluable creature for any garden, the earthworm is crucial for improving soil health. They decompose organic matter and excrete it as nutrient-rich casts, enhancing soil fertility. You can attract earthworms by adding organic matter such as compost or leaf litter to your soil.

These beneficial insects and creatures can greatly contribute to the overall health and vitality of your garden. Embrace them and provide a welcoming habitat, and they will reward you with a thriving, more sustainable garden ecosystem.

11. Spiders

While not technically insects, spiders play an essential role in the garden by preying on a wide range of pests. Different spider species prefer different habitats; some like the undersides of leaves, others prefer the soil surface or the canopy above. Maintaining a diverse garden can attract a variety of spider species.

12. Predatory Mites

Scientific name: Phytoseiidae

Predatory mites are excellent for controlling pest mites in your garden, as they feed on their harmful counterparts. Predatory mites are especially useful in greenhouses or indoor garden setups.

13. Assassin Bugs

Leaf Hopper Assassin Bug (Zelus renardii) hunting for insects. Leaf Hopper Assassin Bug (Zelus renardii) hunting for insects on a leaf in Houston, TX. Assassin Bugs stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Scientific name: Reduviidae

Assassin bugs, as their name suggests, are ruthless predators. They use their long, sharp beaks to impale their prey, which includes a variety of insects. Grow perennial plants to provide them with a continuous habitat.

14. Robber Flies

Scientific name: Asilidae

Robber flies are agile predators that catch their prey while in flight. They consume a wide range of insects and can help control pest populations. They are attracted to sunny, open areas with low vegetation.

15. Braconid Wasps

Scientific name: Braconidae

Braconid wasps are a type of parasitic wasp that target pest caterpillars, including tomato hornworms. Adults are nectar feeders and are attracted to small-flowered plants and herbs.

16. Damsel Bugs

Scientific name: Nabidae

Damsel bugs are generalist predators that feed on aphids, caterpillars, thrips, and other pests. They can be attracted to the garden with a variety of plants, including alfalfa and certain types of flowering shrubs.

17. Honeybees

Abeille domestique, Apis mellifera, Apidae, Honey bee. A honey bee forages on a flower in autumn in a botanical garden. honey bee stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Scientific name: Apis mellifera

Honeybees are indispensable pollinators. They visit flowers to collect nectar and pollen, and in doing so, help to fertilize the plants. You can attract them by planting nectar-rich plants and providing a source of clean, fresh water.

18. Bumblebees

Scientific name: Bombus

Like honeybees, bumblebees are important pollinators. They are especially valuable for their ability to “buzz pollinate” certain plants that honeybees cannot. To attract bumblebees, provide a variety of flowering plants throughout the season.

19. Butterflies

Butterfly drinking flower juice - animal behavior. Butterfly drinking flower juice - animal behavior. butterfly stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

While the caterpillar stage of butterflies can be harmful to certain plants, adult butterflies are excellent pollinators. Planting native flowering plants, especially those with bright colors and sweet nectars, can attract butterflies to your garden.

20. Green Lacewings

Scientific name: Chrysoperla

Green lacewings are similar to their brown counterparts, with larvae that feed on aphids and other pests. Adults, however, primarily feed on nectar, pollen, and honeydew. You can attract them with a diverse mix of flowering plants.

21. Dragonflies and Damselflies

Eastern pondhawk, Erythemis simplicicollis, dragonfly Dragonfly known as Eastern pondhawk,  deagon fly stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Both dragonflies and damselflies are predators of mosquitoes and other small insects. They are especially useful in gardens near water, where mosquito populations tend to be higher. They can be attracted to a pond or other water features, as well as tall plants or structures where they can perch.

22. Predatory Beetles

There are numerous species of beetles that feed on garden pests. For example, lady beetles and soldier beetles prey on aphids, while ground beetles target slugs and other ground-dwelling pests. A diverse garden with plenty of ground cover can attract

a variety of predatory beetles.

23. Toads and Frogs

While not insects, toads and frogs are great pest controllers. They eat a large number of insects, including beetles, slugs, and grubs. Providing a water source and plenty of hiding places can encourage these helpful amphibians to take up residence in your garden.

Remember, attracting and protecting beneficial insects and other creatures is an effective way to maintain a healthy, balanced garden. By understanding and respecting the important roles these creatures play, you can create a thriving garden that’s teeming with life.


It’s an extraordinary experience to see your garden buzzing with life and activity. Beyond the beauty of the plants, the bustling activity of beneficial insects and other creatures is a testament to a thriving and balanced ecosystem. While pests can occasionally pose challenges, it’s essential to remember that every insect plays a part in the larger garden ecology.

In this guide, we’ve explored a diverse group of beneficial insects and creatures that can greatly enhance your garden’s health and vitality. By creating a welcoming habitat for these beneficial allies, you’ll not only be rewarded with a vibrant, healthy garden, but you’ll also contribute to the overall biodiversity of your local ecosystem.

The key is to remember that gardening isn’t just about growing plants—it’s about cultivating a lively and balanced ecosystem. It’s about creating a garden that’s not only nourishing for us but for all the small, often overlooked creatures that call it home. So next time you see a bug in your garden, before reaching for that fly swatter, take a moment to observe and appreciate its place in your garden’s ecosystem.

Embrace the world of beneficial bugs and creepy crawlies. They are nature’s gardeners, working alongside you to create a thriving, sustainable garden. Let’s celebrate these unsung heroes of the garden and continue to learn how to garden in harmony with nature. Happy gardening!

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