Less than 1% of all insects are pests to humans and our food sources.  While most of the other 99% have neutral effect on us, there are many insects that are beneficial to humans and our vegetable patch (NOTE: Broad spectrum pesticides unfairly kill 100% of insects – even our honey bees!).  At VEG we are especially thankful to predator insects – the ones that do our pest control work for us by feeding on the pests.  The following table identifies some of the predators (our little friends) that you might see in or near your VEG beds.

Picture/s larvae and adult Name Pests Attacked How it attacks When active How to attract it Can you buy it?
  Green Lacewing aphids, greenhouse whitefly, scales, mites, mealy bugs, small caterpillars and moth eggs The larvae eats these pests (60 per hour).  Adults lay 600 eggs and feed on nectar and pollen Spring – Summer High nectar and pollen flowers. Asteraceae and apiaceae / umberlliferaceae Y
  Ladybirds Scales, aphids, whitefly  Ladybird larvae eat the pests.     Y
  Ladybird larvae          
  Parasitic Wasps: Aphids, caterpillars, scale, whitefly and rootfly larvae  They lay their eggs in the larvae of pests.  When the eggs hatch they eat the pests from the inside.      
  a)  Aphytis Citrus scales       Y
  b)      Trichogramma Cabbage moth, loopers, codling moth. The larvae eat caterpillar eggs and develop in pest larvae.     Y
  c)       Encarsia Formosa Greenhouse white-fly Eggs laid in whitefly larvae     Y
  Hover Flies – Flatter, longer bodies than wasps.  They’re silent. Aphids, whitefly Larvae eat aphids and small pests (60 per hour)   High nectar flowers.  The more nectar the adult eats, the more eggs they lay! N
  Parasitic Nematodes         N
  Predatory mites (eg. Persimilis) Two-spotted mite, bean spider mite       Y
  Centipedes – one pair of legs per body segment Slugs and other pests Direct attack   They live under mulch N
  Earwigs  – good points at least equal bad points Aphids and codling moth eggs       N
  Praying mantis         ?
  Assassin bug         ?