Attracting Beneficial Insects

Ben HenryMay 17, '20
Attracting Beneficial Insects

Predator insects offer a natural alternative to pesticides. The listed plants will help deter pests and attract natural predators. A mix of these plants provides habitat and alternative food sources many predators require. Predator insects and parasites remain on certain host plants so avoid pesticides. When your plantings mature you’ll be able to observe the “Good Guys’ at work.

Pest Insect & Predator

Pest Insect     Predator Insect  
Aphids   Aphidius
Aphids     Aphidoletes
Thrips, spidermites, fungus gnats   Beneficial mites
Eggs of many pest insects   Damsel bugs (Nabidae)
Whiteflies, aphids, thrip, spider mites   Dicyphus
Slugs, small caterpillars and grubs   Ground beetles
Grubs   Spring Tiphia wasp
Aphids, mealybugs and others   Hoverflies
Scale, aphids, mites, soft-bodied insects   Lacewings
Aphids, mites     Ladybugs
Thrips, aphids, mites, scales, whiteflies     Pirate bugs
Caterpillars; beetle and fly larvae   Tachinid flies
Whiteflies; moth, beetle and fly larvae   Parasitic wasps

Plants that Attract Predator Insects

Predator Insect     What to Plant  
Lacewings, aphidius, ladybugs   Achillea filipendulina
Hoverflies   Alyssum
Ground beetles   Amaranthus
Spring Tiphia wasp   Peonies, firethorn, forsythia
Ichneumon wasp, ladybugs, lacewings     Anethum graveolens (dill)
Lacewings   Angelica gigas
Ladybugs, hoverflies     Convolvulus minor
Hoverflies, parasitic wasps, lacewings     Cosmos bipinnatus
Dicyphus   Digitalis
Lacewings, ladybugs, hoverflies     Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s lace)
Damsel bugs, ladybugs, lacewings   Foeniculum vulgare (fennel)
Pirate bugs, beneficial mites   Helianthus annulus
Hoverflies     Iberis umbellata
Hoverflies, parasitic wasps     Limonium latifolium (Statice)
Aphidius, aphidoletes, hoverflies   Lupin
Parasitic wasps, tachinid flies     Melissa officinalis (lemon balm)
Parasitic wasps, hoverflies, tachinid flies     Petroselinum crispum (parsley)
Pirate bugs, beneficial mites     Shasta daisy
Pirate bugs, aphidius     Sunflowers
Ladybugs, lacewings     Tanacetum vulgare (tansy)
Dicyphus   Verbascum thaspus