Some beetles are beneficial insects and should not be killed if you find them in your garden. Others can do serious damage to your garden crops. Knowing the difference between harmful beetles and beneficial ones, and how to control beetles with eco friendly methods, will help you grow a more eco friendly garden. I’ve had problems with beetles in my garden in Texas on several occasions, and have found some of the eco friendly beetle control methods below to be effective.
Good Beetles To Have In Your Garden.
Beetles belong to the order Coleoptera. Of all the living species on the planet, one fifth are beetles! This makes it a little harder to determine which beetles are harmful to your garden. Good beetles, or beneficial insects include the lady bird beetle or “ladybug”, and the ground beetle. Both of these beetles feed on harmful insects, not plants. You may order ladybugs online or find them for sale in organic gardening stores and release them into your garden to control pests such as aphids. Below is a photo of a lady bird beetle or “ladybug”. To the right of it is a photo of a ground beetle. Ground beetles eat pests such as squash bugs, leaf footed beetles and some caterpillars.
Good Beetles To Have In Your Garden
Beetles That Are Garden Pests
On the left is a photo of a flea beetle which attacks crops such as tomatoes and corn. On the right is a cucumber beetle which attacks cucumber and squash plants.
How To Kill Beetles With Eco Friendly Methods
One way to get rid of beetles in your garden with eco friendly methods is to simply put on a pair of gloves and pick them off your plants. Drop them in a jar of soapy water to kill them. Covering your garden with floating row cover is another good way to keep beetles away, since they are a flying insect. Also, get rid of dead plants and foliage in your garden since this can be place where the beetles lay eggs that are hatched next season. According to the Texas A&M Extension department, adding beneficial nematodes to your garden soil can also help control beetles. Nematodes are a live insect that eats other pest insects and are an eco friendly way to kill beetles in your garden. You can buy nematodes online and in garden stores. Also, to keep a beetle infestation in your garden from occurring, keep plants well watered since stressed plants attract insects.
If you already have a beetle infestation in your garden that is out of control, you may try to kill them using a spray made from Safer Soap. This is an eco friendly beetle control method but does not discriminate when killing insects and may kill beneficial ones.
Beetle Repelling Plants
Another good eco friendly beetle control solution is to plant catnip and sage next to your garden plants. These plants will effectively repel several species of beetles. Trap crops, which attract beetles so that you can pick them off and kill them, are a good way to control beetles. Mustard greens are a good trap crop for beetles.