3 Tricks for Attracting Beneficial Insects to Your Garden

What do you do if your pollinator garden hasn't bloomed yet, but you need to attract beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies for biological pest control?

You feed them yourself! Give the good bugs a free meal and they might stick around long enough to prey on the bad bugs.

These recipes can be made at home with only a few simple household ingredients.

Homemade Wheast

In a home garden, it works as a food supplement for beneficial insects you introduce, and it also helps attract more insects. This version is similar to what you can buy in garden centers, minus the whey.

– 1/4 cup white sugar – 1/4 cup brewer’s yeast

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and yeast with a small spoonful of water at a time, mixing until it becomes the consistency of a paste. Spread the paste onto small wooden stakes or popsicle sticks, and insert them in the soil around your plants.

Sugar Water Spray (Ladybug Food)

If you release ladybugs in your garden, spray this mixture on your plants to feed them right away so they linger a little longer.

– 1 quart water – 10 tablespoons white sugar

In a glass or plastic container, stir the sugar in water until it’s dissolved. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray it on plants that are heavily infested with aphids.

Beneficial Bug Food

This recipe uses a little honey to attract the good bugs. It will store in the fridge for up to 10 days in a covered container, so be sure to make a new batch if you don’t use it all up.

– 2/3 cup warm water – 1/2 cup sugar – 1/4 cup brewer’s yeast – 2 teaspoons honey

Combine all of the ingredients in a glass or plastic container. To use it, dilute 2 tablespoons of the mixture in 1 quart of warm water until well blended.

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