Aphids, mites, thrips, and other insect pests can do some serious damage to plants in your garden. But don't worry, you don't need to reach for the pesticides to combat these tiny bugs. Try these recipes for attracting beneficial insects to your garden. Ladybugs, lacewings, and other good bugs will arrive for the free meal and stay to munch on the bad bugs.
Wheast, a combination of whey and yeast, is used by commercial insectaries to feed ladybugs, lacewings, and other insects. You can buy this bug food from organic gardening suppliers, or you can make a homemade version, minus the whey.
- 1 part sugar
- 1 part yeast
Directions: Add water to the sugar and yeast, mixing until it becomes the consistency of a paste.
Application: Apply the Wheast paste to small wooden stakes, and place them in the soil around your plants. Or, dilute the Wheast in water and apply it directly to your plants using a spray bottle.
A sugar-water solution applied to plants can dramatically increase your ladybug population in just a few days.
- 10 tablespoons sugar
- 1 quart of warm water
Directions: Dissolve sugar in water.
Application: Use a spray bottle to apply the solution directly to plants infested with aphids or other soft-bodied insects.
Beneficial Bug Food
This recipe uses a little honey (made by bees!) to attract good bugs to your garden. You'll need to store it in your refrigerator, and don't keep it longer than a week.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. honey
- 4 tbsp. brewer's yeast
- 2/3 cup of warm water
Directions: Mix all ingredients together well.
Application: Dilute two spoonfuls of the mixture in a quart of warm water. Use a spray bottle to apply the solution to your plants.