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6 Common Insects that are Good for Your Garden

6 Common Insects that are Good for Your Garden

When you see bugs in your flower bed or vegetable patch, don’t be too hasty to reach for the pesticide. You may be surprised to know that many insects are beneficial for your garden. Some prevent overpopulation of harmful bugs, while others can help plants grow. Here’s a rundown of some of the most garden-friendly insects.

Bugs That Protect Your Plants

The last thing you want is to see all your hard work ruined. There are many pests in your garden that love nothing more than to eat their way through your beautiful flowers and prize vegetables. Encouraging their predators can prevent these pests from getting the upper hand.

  • Ladybugs: Ladybugs stand out from the crowd. Not only are they colorful, but they also have a voracious appetite for common pests like mites, aphids and scale insects. You can invite ladybugs to your garden by planting marigolds, cilantro, chives and angelica.
  • Braconid wasps: Adult female braconids inject their eggs into several insects that eat away at your plants and vegetables, such as aphids, caterpillars, beetle larvae and weevils. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the insect’s body, eventually killing their host. You can attract braconid wasps by planting dill, yarrow, onions and caraway.

Bugs That Benefit the Soil

The condition of your soil is important for your garden. Applying compost and keeping it fertile is vital for plant growth, but some insects that live in the soil can help improve it and protect your plants.

  • Ants: You may be surprised to know that some types of ants can be beneficial for your garden. With their tireless tunneling, ants are constantly turning the soil. In fact, they are more effective at this than earthworms. There are some ants you want to avoid, particularly fire ants and carpenter ants.
  • Beneficial nematodes: It can be difficult to attract beneficial nematodes, but you can introduce them to your garden and encourage them to reproduce by adding fertile compost. It’s worth the effort because these worms will feed on a host of pests, including caterpillars, insect larvae, maggots, weevils, borers and wireworms.

Butterflies help your garden flowers grow

Bugs That Help Your Garden Grow

Without pollination, your plants will not be able to reproduce and produce seeds. Natural pollinators are essential for every healthy garden and it’s not difficult to attract them.

  • Honey bee: Probably the most widely known pollinator, the honey bee species is unfortunately in decline. The reasons for this are uncertain, though it could be a combination of climate change, parasites and agricultural pesticides. To keep honey bees coming to your garden, plant bee balm, hosta, foxgloves and asters.
  • Butterflies: Adding a butterfly area to your garden will not only add beauty and color to your landscape, but it will also attract other beneficial insects. To attract butterflies, you need to plant butterfly bush, bee balm, daylily and aster.

By encouraging beneficial insects, you’ll find efficient and friendly allies in your battle against garden pests. Your plants will thrive and you’ll have less need for chemical pesticides.

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12 Comments on "6 Common Insects that are Good for Your Garden"

Samuel frodo

Ladybugs and butterflies are just beauty personified. I normally jut consider ants a nuisance, but this is really eye opening.

Tiffany Yong

I thought you would have earthworms as one of them, but then I realized you are referring to insects! Haha… I used to think that ladybugs are pests too, because the plants like cilantro and chives are plants I want to grow instead of being eaten up!

Katie Wallace
Katie Wallace

Good point! I’m not sure how much ladybugs eat though and you usually don’t see tons of the in one place. Also lady bugs will protect your roses from aphids.


I loved reading this, of which of course I had no idea! I am a total disaster with plants, they call me “garden serial killer”… 🙁 My mom and my grandpa were natural gardeners, everything flourished to their touch, and I’m such a disaster. But I’m glad to learn this, and maybe know something they didn’t 😉


This is so informative! I knew about pollinators & lady bugs. The braconid wasp sounds terrifying! They definitely sound beneficial for gardens.

Elizabeth O
Elizabeth O

This was really interesting and I learned a lot about what insects are good for gardens. It was great to hear ants are beneficial too.

Katie Wallace
Katie Wallace

I was surprised to learn about ants being helpful too!


I don’t really tend to do gardening so I hadn’t considered which insects help. You gotta love the ladybird (as we call them in England) but its nice to know they help gardens florish too!

Michelle Leslie

I so enjoyed reading this Katie. We try really hard to encourage an active bug life in our garden, I honestly believe that when you get that balance right and let Mother Nature take over, gardening becomes a pleasure. Pinning

Katie Wallace
Katie Wallace

I’m thinking of planting a pollinator garden so we can have butterflies in our yard. With 3 kiddos in my life, gardening is only worth it if it’s fun too!

Tanvi Rastogi

I wish I had a green thumb! Looks like your garden is flourishing.


Katie Wallace
Katie Wallace

Thank you! We keep gardening pretty simple. Berries and cutting flowers in our yard and some herbs and succulents. My kids enjoy helping too!