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The Balance of Nature: Bugs, Good and Bad

April 30th, 2009

The insects world is quite an amazing thing, there are so many of all shapes, sizes and colors.
Insects can be good or bad; spiders are good, aphids are bad (I realize spiders aren’t technically insects, but we’re going to include them). The good insects are predatory and they feast on other insects, these are the kinds of insects you want to have around.
Some bugs are very beneficial, but they creep us out – spiders are the main culprit here. I have made peace with all of the big wolf spiders that live around our home (and boy can these guys get HUGE). I have to remember that they eat tons of bad insects.
You can order beneficial insects from various dealers and release them on your property. Certain insects can really help deal with an infestation of another insect. For example: Ladybugs LOVE aphids. If you have an aphid problem, order some ladybugs or some green lacewings. Here is some great information about the best predatory insects for your gardens.
Insects are also beneficial to the gardens because many of them are pollinators. Pollinators are great in the garden because they increase your crops.
There are all kinds of pollinators you can encourage in your gardens without actually having to keep bees. The easiest way is to buy a Mason Bee house to encourage these little orchard bees to reside on your property.

Do you welcome bugs into your gardens?

16 Comments to “The Balance of Nature: Bugs, Good and Bad”
  1. Mangochild on April 30, 2009 at 5:29 am

    I welcome the “good bugs” but I wish there were ways to keep out the “bad” – or at least make sure that they can be eliminated soon after arrival. I’m still leery of ordering/getting beneficial bugs and moving them into my garden, not sure why, but it seems a bit creepy. I know, I need to get over that. What made you take the plunge?
    And I must say, that first pic is amazing. I’ve never seen something like that.

    Mangochild’s last blog post.. Seedling Update: Seeing Progress

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  2. ChristyACB on April 30, 2009 at 5:51 am

    I’ve ordered and released ladybugs to get an aphid infestation before it got too bad. They just don’t stick around for the next time though! I’m always puzzling out which is a good one and which is bad. And I try really hard NOT to be too girlie when I see the big spiders.

    ChristyACB’s last blog post.. Watching the Flash Flood Happen

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  3. Julia on April 30, 2009 at 7:15 am

    I’ve had ladybugs before, but didn’t realize they were for the aphids. I had a real problem last year with the aphids, so I think this year I need to order me some lady bugs. Thanks for the link.

    I believe that spiders eat ants.

    Julia’s last blog post.. Thinning the Herb

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  4. kristin on April 30, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Yup. Not that any of them needed my encouragement. Last year, there was a particularly creepy looking spider that was living among the tomatoes. I was sure the thing was stalking me and waiting for me to let down my guard before it pounced on me and bit me. Then the MiL explained that it was a GOOD spider, that it ate bad things. So I learned to tolerate it. But I still kept a wary eye on it as I was staking the plants.

    kristin’s last blog post.. Library Geek

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    • Susy on April 30, 2009 at 6:50 pm

      I had a big wolf spider once that I named Winston, later in the summer I found out he was a she. She was HUGE!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Chicago Mike on April 30, 2009 at 9:09 am

    I am looking forward to my Squash Bees coming back. Keeping my fingers crossed for them!! :)

    Reply to Chicago Mike's comment

  6. warren on April 30, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Of course, we keep bees so we like to see them in the garden. Most other bugs are welcome too…we don’t spray for anything. We’ve had pretty good luck in co-existing. I do intend to hatch some praying mantises though…sounds like a fun addition!

    warren’s last blog post.. Off to the allergist

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  7. Dan on April 30, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    I’ve heard releasing lady bugs is pointless because they will just fly away. Do they actually stick around?

    I welcome all bugs, every one has to eat right. I just hope I get to eat more then the bugs.

    Dan’s last blog post.. Thursday’s Garden Meal Post

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  8. Michelle on April 30, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    I haven’t made peace with spiders and probably never will but I still leave them alone. They just freak me out is all. Especially the big hairy ones! Yuck.

    Michelle’s last blog post.. My Very First Tea Party!

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  9. Katelyn and Morgan on September 17, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Hi what is the yellow and black spiders name we have one and we want to know what the name and were are they from

    katelyn and Morgan

    Reply to Katelyn and Morgan's comment

  10. Bill on October 12, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Any idea what kind of yellow spider that is in the first photo in this article? I ran across one of those on a web along a forest trail yesterday and got a great photo of it. Really a beautiful creature. I’d never seen one like it before.

    Reply to Bill's comment

    • Susy on October 12, 2009 at 9:29 am

      I haven’t been able to figure out what kind of spider that is.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  11. John on November 9, 2009 at 10:32 am

    hey what kind of spider is that? i found the exact same one the other day

    Reply to John's comment

    • Susy on November 9, 2009 at 11:08 am

      Not sure, I haven’t been able to find out.

      Reply to Susy's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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