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Hydro 101 with Deonna Marie: Beneficial Insects in Your Grow Room

Some creatures, like the praying mantis, can be beneficial for your indoor garden. Some creatures, like the praying mantis, can be beneficial for your indoor garden.

 

Thrips, spider mites, fungus gnats, aphids – these are a grower’s worst nightmare when it comes to our precious crops. These pests can enter your grow room from your clothes, animals, or other plants brought in from another environment that was infested with pests. But believe it or not, not all insects are worth getting rid of. In fact, there's quite a few that are beneficial to your grow room because they eat some of those other nasty pests for lunch. Let's take a look at some of these insects and why they are beneficial to you and your plants.

Ladybugs - Ladybugs are some of the most common natural predators out there. Ladybugs are great for battling aphids and other larger bugs, but aphids are quite a bit larger than a spider mite and their eggs are much smaller than the mites themselves. Ladybugs are great, but they do not eat most mite eggs and will often even skip over smaller mites. Ladybug larvae work great against mites, but adults will never completely get rid of a population, which usually means you’ll have to use a natural pesticide along with them. All in all it, doesn't hurt to have them keep your room company, just make sure they are sealed in or they will easily escape.

Praying Mantis - Who hasn't heard of this predator? They are a great beneficial insect to accompany your grow room. Not many of us growers come into contact with a praying mantis, but I think we've all heard of the way this insect mates. While the female can indeed feed on its mate's head during mating, praying mantises have plenty other amazing qualities. The mantis is the only predator fast enough to catch mosquitoes and flies. It is also the only insect that can turn its head all the way around (180 degrees). Praying mantises have huge appetites and will eat a variety of insects including aphids, grasshoppers, fruit flies, houseflies, moths, and crickets. However, in addition to these insects, praying mantises will also eat beneficial insects, so if you’re planning on using them as indoor pest control, make sure to keep this in mind.

Nematodes - Last but not least, nematodes are a beneficial species that help break down organic matter and enrich the soil in addition to preying on a platter of pests from cutworms, thrips, and root weevils to earwigs, billbugs, and mole crickets. Nematodes are natural organisms, already present in our soil. They are not pests, but prey on garden pests giving us natural garden pest controls that are environmentally, kid, and pet friendly.

There are all kinds of pesticides out there on the market, some organic, some synthetic, but there's nothing better than using an all natural pest predator. They may not be as effective as pesticides, but I'm a firm believer in using all natural everything if you can get away with it. You can order ladybugs and nematodes from your local hydro store, so next time you run into a yucky pest problem, keep in mind these three natural predators that may help your garden thrive. Until next time, grow big or go home.

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A closer look at one of the animal kingdom’s true badasses.
Last modified on Thursday, 29 November 2012 09:46

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