Article #3: Your Garden Needs Insects by Carl C. Webb
The only controlled insect pollinator is the honey bee which is considered to be worth nine times as much for its crop pollination as for the honey and wax it produces.
This is no mean figure when it is not uncommon for a single hive of bees to produce 40 or more pounds of honey in one season.
Many other garden insects are of great benefit because both the quality and yield of many garden and field plants are influenced or dependent on insects for pollination.
My garden produce is grown without the use of any insecticides because I understand that 90% of insects are beneficial while only 10% can cause crop damage. If I spray to kill harmful insects, I am certain to kill the good ones along with them and soon I would have completely upset nature's delicate balance.
The lady beetle is well-known among gardeners and is a useful insect because of its intense hunger for other insect eggs and their young.
This insect is grown commercially in California and perhaps in other states, and is used on a wide scale by the grapefruit growers of Texas to control aphids on the trees.
Another effective predator upon other insects is the lace-wing, whose appetite for eggs and young of other insects makes it very beneficial. It is an attractive insect, light green in color, with a delicate lace design of the wing, which is the basis for its name. Protect these insects.
The young of the lacewing are so eager to feed on insects and eggs that the mother lays her eggs on a hairlike structure to elevate them so the first ones to hatch will not devour their unhatched brothers and sisters.
The praying mantis and the walking stick are two other helpful insects that deserve protection.
A number of tiny wasps are parasitic on harmful insects. In the North they work on infestations of alfalfa weevil, cereal leaf beetle, and the army worm. One of this type of parasitic insects works on the tomato hookworm. If a large tomato hookworm larva is seen to have a number of white egglike cocoons, do not molest it. Just let it remain so the new parasites can emerge and do good.
Do you see why it is important to be an informed organic gardener?
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