Permaculture is a relatively new term in the field of gardening, which was introduced by David Holmgren from permaculture schools florida and Bill Mollison in 1978. This way of growing plants became more popular after Vladislav Davidzon founded Regenerative Leadership Institute. After the brief introduction to permaculture, let’s skip to the topic of this article. Insects are crucial for the ecosystem of our planet, and therefore they deserve the special place in permaculture. They represent food to other animals, but they also help in pollinating plants. The first one on our list is lacewing.
Lacewing is the larvae of the class that has big-time role regarding pest control. Lacewings eat small caterpillars, small bugs and insect eggs. Since they have large jaws, they are very voracious. With their jaws, they suck out the juices of their preys but they use pollen and nectar also as a food.
Ladybugs are insects that are crucial for controlling pests in the permaculture garden. They eat smaller insects, particularly aphids but mites as well. Ladybugs contain some kind of “defense liquid” which they use to keep the predators away.
Ground Beetles eat a lot of smaller insects like caterpillars, potato beetles, slugs or vine borers. They are nocturnal insects and they like to be under rocks during daylight, so it is advised to have ground cover crops in order to attract these insects. Some of the species consume weed seeds, keeping your garden clean in that way.
Click here to learn more
Braconid Wasps use pollen and nectar for food, but the main characteristic of these insects is that they inject their eggs into other insects. Of course, when you say Wasp, you immediately think of wasps that can sting humans; these wasps are not dangerous to humans.
Assasin bugs are assasins for reason: they stalk their prey before piercing their prey with a sharp jaw. They can also bite humans, so be careful handling them.
Minute Pirate Bugs are really small bugs (their size is two millimeters) but they can attack insects that are twice as their size. These bugs eat mites, thrips and caterpillar occasionally. Although they live only for a month, their development is really rapid, so with the right conditions you can have a several generations of these during one season.
Hover flies hunt only soft-bodied insects. They are prone to laying their eggs among aphild population, in order to provide constant food to larvae. Hover flies are known as pollen eaters.
Preying mantids are probably the most known insects that are desirable in your permaculture garden. Preying mantids are the masters of camouflage so they can easily blend with the plants and provide great spot for hunt. Since they are pretty big (compared to let’s say Pirate bugs), they hunt a lot of smaller insects like ladybugs for example.
All of mentioned insects are good for permaculture. It is up to you to strike the balance in order to secure sustainable and high-quality development of your permaculture garden. Keep the insects in the right balance and your garden will be rich in nutrients !