Praying mantids are well-known predators we often see lurking around gardens, landscapes, and sometimes near porch lights, waiting for a tasty meal to arrive.
Praying mantid adults are 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm) long and are usually yellowish, green, or brown. Mantids (often referred to as praying mantis) go through incomplete metamorphosis (egg, nymph, adult) and have one generation per year. Overwintering eggs are laid in groups in hard, grayish egg cases which are glued to wood, bark, or other plant material. Adults and immatures (nymphs) have an elongated thorax and grasping forelegs, which they have the...
This Earth Day, Sunday April 22, help natural enemies by growing insectary plants. Natural enemies, also called beneficials or biological control agents, include lady beetles (ladybugs), lacewings, spiders, parasitic wasps, and even some mites! These natural enemies feed on pests in the garden and landscape and may reduce the need for insecticides. Protect natural enemies by avoiding the use of pesticides that kill them and keeping ants out of pest-infested plants.
Insectary plants provide nectar, pollen, and shelter throughout the year for natural enemies. In order to provide a year-round source of food for them, choose plant species and cultivars that flower at different times and are well-adapted to your area. Here are a...
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Fly away home.
Your house is on fire
And your children are gone.
How many times have you heard that nursery rhyme? Better yet, how many times have you seen a lady beetle (because they're beetles, not bugs) take off?
Look closely for lady beetles in aphid-infested milkweed plants and you might see this phenomenon. The lady beetle opens its elytra (a modified hardened protective wing case) and out pop the wings.
This lady beetle was munching and crunching aphids on a tropical milkweed this afternoon in Vacaville, Calif., and then opted to take flight. Just another beneficial insect eating soft-bodied...
Ten years ago the U.S. Senate voted unanimously and created National Pollinator Week. This week reminds us of the vital role pollinators play in providing our world's fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. According to the Pollinator Partnership, pollination produces nearly $20 billion worth of crops annually in the U.S.
Pollinators include bees, beetles, bats, butterflies, moths, and wasps. Many pollinators including bats, predatory wasps, and syrphid flies are also beneficial predators because they...
Last week, we discussed some common beneficial predators that help control pests on garden and landscape plants. One such predator you might find, is a lacewing. In fact, you may have seen adult lacewings on or near porchlights in the evening, since these insects are attracted to lights.
Green lacewing (Chrysopa spp., Chrysoperla spp.) adults are green, soft-bodied insects with golden eyes and four membranous wings. Their larvae are pale with dark markings and a tapered tail, and measure 1/8 to 4/5 of an inch long.
There are several species of green lacewings; some species have predaceous adults, while others feed only on.../h2>