Friday, 06 April 2012 20:00
Bugs that Will Benefit Your Lawn
It's everyone's worst nightmare to find that bugs have invaded their carefully tended Ottawa lawn. But before you charge out to your lawn, pesticides blazing, reconsider your actions for a second. First, chemical pesticides are now illegal in Ontario. Second, if you kill off the infestation, you will also risk removing any beneficial lawn and garden bugs. These can often improve the makeup of your property and reduce your Ottawa lawn maintenance needs. Before resorting to drastic measures, why not give the following beneficial bugs a chance – not only will your Ottawa lawn maintenance practices be safer, but your environment will reap the rewards of "green" gardening.
Predator Bugs Should Be Part of Your Lawn Maintenance in Ottawa
Predatory insects are mobile bugs who like to search out their prey. Some have sucking mouthparts which will penetrate the soft body of their victim and suck out the internal fluids. Others have chewing mouthparts and feed on the entire body of their prey. Some of the more familiar predators you may encounter during routine Ottawa lawn maintenance include:
- Ground Beetles: these predators are extremely common all over North America. Both adults and larvae feed on soft-bodied insects and various caterpillars. They tend to be quick moving, which enables them to "seek and destroy" their prey.
- Spiders: they don't just live in your basements! They are actually quite common in turf areas and are very efficient predators. While they aren't considered insects per se, they do feed on a wide range of immature insects and mites. This makes them key in stopping any problems in your Ottawa lawn before they start.
- Ants: they are carnivorous and like to seek out insects and other soft bodied organisms to provide provisions for their nest. Not only that, their endless one by one marching can help out with the breakdown of organic matter in your soil. These are insects you want to keep a nice balance with though. If their activity becomes excessive, it may dry out the soil.
Parasites Have Great Potential
Parasites are small insects (smaller than the host) that develop inside or on the body of another organism. Usually an adult female finds a good host to lay her eggs on or in and the immature parasites feed on the host until it weakens and dies.
One of the more common parasites to frequent your lawn in Ottawa is of the wasp family. Wasps like to lay eggs in soft-bodied insects and, contrary to popular belief, they do not bite or sting people (regardless of how much alarm their presence may cause).
Bringing in a Pitch-Hitter: Nematodes
Nematodes, or round worms, come in harmful and beneficial varieties. The beneficial kind can help reduce grub infestation in your lawn and can be very economical to use. Nematodes like to feed on white grubs, sod webworms, and leather jackets. Unlike pesticides, they are 100% organic and safe, so your children and pets will still be able to play in the yard. They also won't bother the earthworms or other good insects in your lawn. Talk about being a good team player!