5 Bugs that Are Good For Your Landscape

May 19, 2011

Most people associate insects with a need for pest control. They think of bugs as a problem that needs to be treated. A landscape management professional knows differently.

Many common northwest bugs are good for your yard and garden. They can pollinate your plants and keep other, more harmful pests out of your landscaping. Beaverton and other Portland-area homeowners may be surprised to learn just how much insects can help with landscape management.

Here are the top five bugs our landscape management experts encourage people to keep around:


1. Bees. Bees, of course are the kings and queens of pollination. Not only do bees help populate your yard and garden with flowers and fresh fruits and vegetables, they are also responsible for 30 percent of the food supply in the United States. As you work to get your house landscaping in shape this spring, lay off the chemical bug sprays and let the bees do their job.

2. Praying mantis. The mantis may look creepy, but it is one of your best landscape management allies, especially if you have an aphid problem. They are also relatively tame and will sometimes let you hold them if you’re gentle.

3. Ladybugs. Cute and beneficial? Who knew? Not only do these garden “ladies” add a quaint touch to your yard, they also help control aphids, mealy bugs and mites. You go, girls.

4. Spiders. There are only three poisonous spiders found in the Pacific Northwest – black widows, brown recluses and the hobo spider. However, there are dozens and dozens of spiders that are harmless to humans yet lethal to many other pests that can threaten a house landscape. The common yard or garden spider generally doesn’t come indoors, either, so you don’t have to worry about shooing them back outside.

5. Worms. Worms aren’t insects, but they are incredibly important for your yard or garden. They provide nutrients and aerate the soil, control pH levels, and keep the soil loose so roots have a better chance of spreading.  Any good landscape management project will include worms by either encouraging their natural reproduction or introducing new specimens into worm-deficient soil.

[Photo by: audreyjm529]