10 Bugs You Should Never Kill in Your Garden

The next time you spot a crawling bug in your garden, don’t squash it just yet! Many of the insects you’re seeing in your garden are beneficial. 

This is because their favorite food is other destructive bugs! 

These helpful bugs, as nature intended, will take care of some of the gardening work and keep your garden free of pests. Letting nature do its job is often a much better solution than having to use pesticides full of dangerous chemicals.

Unfortunately, pesticides aren’t able to make a difference between a good and a bag bug. So, using these chemicals ends up destroying all bugs. 

Considering the decline of insect populations, it’s important to be more aware of how we manage pests in our gardens by relying on nature.

To increase awareness about beneficial garden pests, we prepared a list of beneficial bugs in your garden that you should never kill. 

10 Bugs in Your Garden That You Should Never Kill 

  1. Spiders

Seeing spiders and not killing them right away can be a real challenge, especially when you notice them around your garden plants. 

But, you may not need to fear them so much, especially when you learn that they’re helpful for a thriving garden because they eat other pests that can cause major crop damage. 

Of course, we should always be cautious because some spiders are harmful to humans. However, the ones you spot around your garden are usually not harmful to humans and are beneficial for the crops.

  1. Ground beetle 

Ground beetles often appear at night and look for bugs that attach and feed off your garden crops. 

You can see them under piles of old leaves or debris, as well as around other dark areas like compost piles. Although they look menacing, they’re not dangerous if you just leave them be and do their job in the garden.  

  1. Praying mantis 

The praying mantis is the biggest insect on this list and it’s hard to miss. The long body, bulging eyes, and large head make it an easy-to-spot insect. 

You may be worried when you see it because you think that it will destroy your crops. But, don’t worry, the mantis often preys on destructive bugs in your garden, not on your plants.

  1. Dragonflies 

The dragonfly in your garden is helping you get rid of flying pests like moths, flies, mosquitoes, white flies, fruit flies, etc. 

At first sight, they may look intimidating but don’t fear. They aren’t harmful to humans and do a great job keeping your garden clean of destructive pests.

  1. Braconid wasp 

If you’re feeling nervous due to seeing hornets, wasps, and other stinging pests in your garden, don’t feel sad just yet especially if you see the braconid wasp which preys on the hornworm that is attacking your tomato plants. 

This wasp lays the eggs on the hornworm, under the skin. When they hatch, the larvae eat the hornworm. Therefore, if you have tomato plants, never kill braconid wasps!

  1. Lacewing 

Lacewings are quite the helpful bugs. They attack whiteflies and aphids during the larvae and adult stages. 

The females lay their eggs in the whiteflies and aphid larvae and then eat them. 

  1. Aphid midge 

This small fly is really powerful because it helps you control around 60 different aphid species by preying on them. 

The aphid midge will help eliminate destructive aphids from your garden quicker than the ladybug and the lacewing together. 

  1. Bees 

Bees are vital for the life cycle and growth of numerous plants. 

Despite their pollinating properties, they sometimes enjoy a bad reputation due to their stinging abilities. 

But, they won’t bother you if you don’t attack them. Leave them to do their job in your garden and pollinate important plants.

  1. Butterfly 

There’s rarely a person who dislikes seeing a butterfly. They look amazing and calming, especially if you see them flying around your garden. 

But, they’re so much more than a pretty sight for sore eyes. 

They will feed on the nectar of flowers and carry pollen for fertilizing seeds and plants that is essential for healthy plant growth.

  1. Ladybug 

Also known as the ladybird or lady beetle, the ladybug preys on mites, aphids, and eggs of other bugs with soft bodies. 

They look cute and help you keep your garden neat and free of pests. Some gardeners often purchase ladybugs in bulk to add them to their garden and control pests naturally.