Contact your local county Extension office through our County Office List.

   
Planttalk Colorado™ is sponsored by Colorado State University Extension, Denver Botanic gardens, and the Green Industries of Colorado. For additional information on gardening, see Plant Select® and Extension Publications.

1421 – Beneficial Insects   Arrow divider image - marks separation between nested pages that are listed as breadcrumbs.

Crab spider

Insects, mites and weeds have natural controls that can eliminate 98 percent of their populations. In Colorado, beneficial organisms occur naturally. They can also be purchased commercially, and are available on a limited basis through the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Typical lady beetle larva

Twospotted lady beetle

The best known of the so-called good bugs is the ladybird beetle or ladybug. The ladybug is found in most yards and gardens, and provides some control of aphids and several other soft-bodied insects. Unfortunately, ladybugs that are purchased have a natural tendency to disperse, so they provide little benefit to buyers who wish to control insects in their yards.

Green lacewing larvaGreen lacewing adult

Green lacewings are commonly found in Colorado and feed on a variety of insect pests. Lacewing eggs can also be purchased and provide control once the eggs hatch and the developing larvae feed. The adults will also disperse unless significant numbers of aphids are present.

Syrphid fly larva

Syrphid fly adult

Praying mantids are large insects that prey on other insects. Unfortunately, praying mantids don’t usually overwinter in Colorado, and they feed on beneficial insects as well as pest species. Praying mantids don’t reproduce quickly, and they catch only fast-moving insects.

Tachinid fly eggs

For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).

For more information, see the following Planttalk
Colorado™ script(s).

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