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Bugged by Bugs: Beneficial Insects Manage Lawn and Garden Pests

Just as firefighters may build fires to control wildfire, it's also possible to use beneficial insects for lawn care and pest control. If you're bugged by handling insects, don't worry. Many beneficial pests and organisms are microscopic or shipped in egg or immature form. Here's some information on common types of "good bugs" that can help you preserve your lawn and flower garden without using potentially toxic pesticides.

Nematodes: An Underground Ally in Pest Control

Nematodes are microscopic worms that live underground and feed on subterranean insect pests including ants, cutworms, fleas, termites, and some species of beetles. Nematodes are shipped in a medium that can be mixed with water and applied by watering or spraying your lawn. Nematodes are best applied in the early morning or evening.  These tiny organisms are available in active and sedentary varieties. These categories refer to the types of pests they attack. A lawn-care specialist, garden center, or nursery can help you select nematodes best suited to your climate and pest-control needs.

Getting the Bugs Out of Your Lawn and Garden

Common garden pests such as aphids, thrips, and whiteflies can quickly destroy your garden. Beneficial bugs such as the popular ladybug beetle, graceful green lacewings, and the formidable praying mantis - the good monster - can help preserve the beauty of a garden. If the menacing appearance of the large praying mantis disturbs you, don't worry: The egg cases of mantids are shipped by suppliers for placement in your garden. The ladybug beetle and familiar green lacewing are voracious predators of aphids and whiteflies, and can help you preserve your flower garden while reducing hazards often associated with chemical pesticides.

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