Attracting Beneficial Insects to Your Arizona Garden

20 Jun '19

Insects play an important role in Arizona landscapes. While we are always eager to eliminate nuisance insects such as mosquitoes and stinging ants, some should be left alone. 

Honeybees and other beneficial insects help to pollinate plants and some even prey upon unwanted bugs in the garden.

Attracting these good bugs to your garden allows you to enjoy year-round benefits that help plants thrive while keeping pest populations down. 

When you need to see more butterflies and ladybugs fluttering about your garden, you can use these tips to make your outdoor space more inhabitable to beneficial insects.

Choose Attractive Plants

Butterfly gardens are a popular design scheme that uses colorful blooms to bring these beautiful insects to the area. While these are a great start, you should also know that other plants can be used to bring in the insects that you want. 

For instance, ladybugs love yarrow and lacewings like wild lilac. Many other beneficial insects are also attracted to herbs such as dill. For the best results at keeping desirable insect populations up, try to include plants that attract them during each season in your garden. 

Giving pollinators plants that flower at different times of the year means that they will always have a ready source of nectar to keep them going.

Create a Butterfly Garden
 

Opt for Selective Bug Sprays

One mistake that many gardeners make is using the wrong type of insecticide outdoors. An all or nothing approach typically harms the good insects. Certain sprays are also not effective on the bad ones either. 

We offer selective bug spraying that targets nuisance insects, while leaving the ones that you want, alone. With selective spraying, we can choose insecticides that are meant for certain types of insects. We can also choose to only spray certain areas such as in areas of your yard where black widows tend to live. 
During our visit, just let us know if you are encouraging the growth of certain insect populations on your property so that we can choose the right pest treatment for your needs.

Provide Them With Shelter

We rarely see insects taking a nap since they are so active during the day. Yet, those fluttering butterflies and lacewings all need somewhere to sleep and lay their eggs. Beneficial insects also need places that they can go to hide from predators. 

Try to space your plants fairly close together so that bugs can hide beneath them as they run from one to another. Plants with broad leaves also provide the ideal place for some types of insects to lay their eggs. 

Depending upon your landscaping design and comfort level, you can also use bee houses to provide an acceptable shelter that allows you to keep them on your property without having them too near your house.

Offer Easy Access to Water

Insects also need water, which can be hard to find during drought conditions. Naturally, many insects will find a place to take a sip after you water the plants. 

However, you may also choose to provide a few easier water sources around your garden area. For instance, a small dish of water could be left out near flowering plants, or you might put a rock in a water feature that gives them a place to perch and take a drink.

Supporting beneficial insects in your garden helps to preserve the beautiful eco-system that we have here in Arizona. While it does require you to put a little thought into your garden design, the effort is worth it when you see plant-friendly populations thrive.

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