Beneficial bugs have been the most ancient preventative pest control strategy that ever existed. These bugs can target various harmful pests in your garden. They have a short lifespan, so you will need to know about the quantity you are releasing these bugs into your garden. – Gro Indoor
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Everything You Need to Know About Beneficial Bugs for Plants

by 09 Apr 2023

Everything You Need to Know About Beneficial Bugs for Plants

When a gardener or grower hears the word plant bug, the first thing they envision is to think of how to get rid of that bug. It is common for gardeners to come across bugs and insects in their plants, and you will never find them free of insecticides or other pest control ideas to ward off these buggers. Not many gardeners and growers are aware of the bugs that are plant-friendly. They mostly interact with the critters damaging their plants, and some even cost them a fortune while rejuvenating their garden.

Did you know some bugs are beneficial for plants and can help you wipe off infestations? Some bugs and insects can prove your only defense against preventing Aphid or Mites infestation in your garden. It might seem awkward if you think about bringing more bugs to kill the already existing ones. Still, it is one of the best and oldest pest control strategies that ever existed. This article intends to cover some information about the beneficial bugs and what pests they can wipe off your plants or garden.

How are Beneficial Bugs Beneficial?

They are also known as biological control agents; a term used to describe bugs that can benefit your plants. Some particular bugs eat pests like aphids, worms, caterpillars, spider mites, etc. different bugs combat different outbreaks.

Although these bugs are beneficial, their short life span is the only drawback you will face while using them as a pest control strategy. If you are using them preventatively, they will run it off food in no time. A colony of beneficial bugs lasts only for two to three weeks.

Reasons of Using Beneficial Bugs

If you wish to use an organic strategy for pest control, using bugs to control pests is the best option. It relieves you of using any chemical or any other spray on your plant, even if it involves using OMRI-approved pesticides.

Some growers will hesitate such sprays, and they are not wrong because such pesticides can be harmful to your plants if you do not know the right one to use. Some growers introduce these bugs to their garden before any signs of pest infestation as a preventative strategy. There is no harm in this preventative strategy as they do not pose any harm to your garden.

Where Can You Find Beneficial Bugs?

Thanks to technology and the internet, these days you can have easy access to information and learn anything you want. You do not need to grab your net and go hunting for these bugs. They can also be delivered to your doorstep and discreetly for any pest outbreak. Let us find out more about some common grow room pests and diseases.

Common Beneficial Bugs

Here we will be discussing some of the beneficial bugs that growers can use for controlling pests. Here are some details regarding their life span, botanical names, how you can use them, and their target pests.


Are you in search of all-purpose pesticides without any chemicals? Trichogramma is the right bug friend for you. Its female lays eggs near the eggs of other unwanted pests, and its larva hatches as soon as they lay eggs and feed on the harmful pests. This quick action rapidly reduces the population of unwanted pests in your garden. Once they infest the eggs of unwanted pests, the eggs appear black giving you a Trichogramma infestation sign.

Target: Corn borers, armyworms, caterpillars, fruit, pod, and stem borers, and various moths.

Growing Condition: These bugs require food sources like honeydew, pollen, and nectar.

Lifespan: They can live up to 2 weeks or 14 days.

Habitat: They are common in flowering vegetables, dills, corn, leguminous plants, and wild carrots.

Phytoseiulus persimilis

Phytoseiulus persimilis is a known predator of spider mites. Surprisingly, they appear like spider mites both in size and color. An untrained grower may assume them to be a colony of spider mites cannibalizing. Their slightly pear-shaped body and bright orange colors make them distinguishable from spider mites.

They can eat 2-3 spider mites in a day or their eggs/larvae. They are always found much more active compared to spider mites. Once they finish eating spider mites from your garden, they will migrate to another where they can find new food sources.

Target: Spider mites

Growing conditions: These bugs grow in high humidity and mild-warm temperatures.

Lifespan: Their eggs hatch within a day, and it then goes into the larval stage, followed by two nymphal stages before they turn into an adult. Their adult species can survive for 8-10 days.

Habitat: You can easily find them on the leaves underside, which is a hotspot for spider mites' residence. They colonize various leafy vegetables, some flowers, and strawberries.

Beneficial Nematodes

The beneficial nematodes are non-segmented microscopic worms present in the soil. They are parasitic and consume different worms. They detect their host by tracing the heat and carbon dioxide and the heat it releases. They can enter their host bodies through various openings, or they can pierce their skin surfaces directly.

After entering the host's body, they release bacteria that can kill the host within 24-48 hours of infestation. They are highly effective on pests in their early stages and can prove beneficial in such scenarios.

Target: Weevils, leaf and stem borers, fleas, caterpillars, armyworms, fly larvae, thrips, leaf miners, ticks, fungus gnats, root maggots, and other harmful pests.

Growing condition: They cannot survive in extreme temperatures or UV light exposure. They are best for indoor growing mediums. They love moist soil.

Habitat: They live near the root system of plants, where the soil is moist.

Aphidius Sp.

Aphidius is a kind of wasp that acts as a parasite for the nymphs of aphids. The process begins when a female wasp lays eggs on an aphid's nymph. The eggs then hatch a larva that feeds on these nymphs. It stops the reproductive cycle. Aphids have a short life span, and hence they dwindle off too quickly. This process is more common outdoors as Aphidius sp. gets attracted to a honeydew fluid that aphid releases.

Targets: Aphids

Growing conditions: They work best in (70%-80%) humid growing environment with a temperature range between 64-75 F. Excessive fluctuations in these conditions can be detrimental for these wasps.

Lifespan: Their total lifespan is four weeks, out of which two weeks are immature stages, and the rest two are for adult stages.

Habitat: They are easy to find in plants, but since leguminous plants are the primary targets for aphids, you will find them there.

Consult our guide to obtain more knowledge about Aphids.

Atheta coriaria

Atheta Coriaria are also known as rove beetles, and they are an excellent defense in controlling fungus gnats. They are soil-dwelling predators that love moist and dark areas like fungus gnats. Once they accomplish their target, they move on to a new food source. They can consume up to 10-12 fungus gnats per day while they are combating an infestation.

Target: Fungus gnats

Growing conditions: They require a dark and moist environment with mild or warm conditions. They cannot sustain too much heat or cold.

Lifespan: They have a complete life cycle of 21 days, with egg hatchings in 3-4 days, producing fresh larvae.

Habitat: You can find them in all the humid areas and greenhouses and gardens anywhere.

Take the help of our complete guides if you are looking for prevention and control against fungus gnats.

Aphidoletes aphidimyza

Aphidoletes is another beneficial bug that can help you fight the aphids infestation in your plants, growing in a grow room or indoors. It resembles a large mosquito, and its aphid consumption is heavier than you can imagine. Its ability to feed on mites and other soft-bodied insects makes it a better preventative pest control option.

Target: Aphids, spider mites, and other soft-bodied insects

Growing condition: Longer days with plenty of moisture and humidity. You will need to keep your soil moist to facilitate its larvae development and reproduction. The adult species are susceptible to pesticides and die off.

Lifespan: The lifespan of an adult female is 1-2 weeks, and the entire cycle is 3-6 weeks.

Habitat: These bugs are common in ornamental plants, cole crops, berries, legumes, potatoes, and other vegetables.

Orius insidiosus

Orius insidiosus are your best friend if you are struggling to deal with thrips infestation in your plants. It acts aggressively in targeting the thrips, but it also consumes other pests. In optimum conditions, these bugs can eat 12 thrips a day while thrice more in the process.

Target: Their primary targets are thrips, but they can also help deal with mites, aphids, and moth eggs.

Growing conditions: These bugs require ample daylight, making the most effective during vegetative periods indoors or summer months outdoors.

Lifespan: Once they hatch, these bugs can live for 3-4 weeks.

Habitat: They are common to find in agricultural plants as they also consume pollen. This pollen includes cotton, strawberries, alfalfa, corn, pea, and pasture lands in orchids.

Hippodamia convergens (Lady bugs)

Hippodamia convergens is one of the most beneficial bugs. They feast on various bugs rapidly. They are effective against aphids as they can feed on up to 60 per day and 5000 aphids in their lifespan. Ladybugs can prove to be the best preventative measure against pests. If you are using them as a preventative measure, consider the quantity you set loose. Start with releasing a couple of ladybugs.

Target: They target weevils, aphids, mites, whiteflies, adelgids, and other beetle larvae.

Growing conditions: they prefer moist and humid conditions. If you want them to survive, keeping the soil moist and humid can help them.

Lifespan: Ladybugs have a longer lifespan compared to other beneficial bugs that we are going to cover. They live between 2-3 years on average.

Habitat: Ladybugs live in various habitats, including forests, fields, grasslands, gardens, and more.

Delphastus catalina (whitefly lady beetle)

Delphastus catalina’s common name is the whitefly lady beetle. They are similar to the ladybug but smaller in size and focus more on consuming whiteflies. Another difference between a ladybug and this beetle is that a ladybug can survive without prey. At the same time, a dalphastus catalinae needs a target to survive. The female delphastus catalinae survival requires 100-150 eggs in a day to sustain their egg-laying protocols. They control the whitefly infestation through egg consumption and kill them by piercing their bodies and sucking the insides out.

Target: Whiteflies

Growing conditions: Similar to ladybugs, moist, warm, and humid.

Lifespan: About 21-25 days.

Habitat: They are common in areas where their prey population, i.e., whiteflies, are abundant, meaning that you can find them anywhere you can find whiteflies.

Are you still thinking about getting rid of whiteflies completely? Check out our complete guides to give you detailed information about them.

Chrysoperla rufilabris (green lacewings)

Chrysoperla rufilabris can combat various pests, but their best work is visible in targeting mealybugs. They are also active against aphids, whiteflies, and other scale insects. They are familiar residents in outdoor gardens and may come to your rescue on their own. They are also great at dealing with indoor plant infestation.

The adult green lacewing lays her eggs close to a potential food source, where they hatch into larvae. Their larvae also feed on pests. Their hungriest appetites make them inclined to feast on your pests.

Target: Their primary targets are mealybugs, but they also consume whiteflies and aphids.

Growing conditions: They tend to enjoy mild conditions similar to the temperature and humidity found in an indoor grow room. You shall focus on placing their eggs off the ground, keeping them away from other pests, and securing their hatching.

Lifespan: The adult green lacewing survives for 4-6 weeks.

Habitat: It is a common bug globally; you will find them anywhere where there are plants.


These are the commonly known beneficial bugs for plants, but they are not the only ones. There are various other species out there. If you plan to use these bugs as a preventative pest control strategy, you can get them delivered at your doorstep.

If you want to speed up the eradication process of harmful pests, you can use insecticidal soap and pesticide that are safe to use around you and your plants. If you know how to use these chemicals, they can be a great combination of beneficial bugs to prevent infestation.

Research how you can apply these chemical-based pesticides without damaging beneficial bugs’ colony residing in your garden. You can also avail of our sticky traps to help you control the pest population naturally. If you need an attack plan for your infestation, check or contact us at 866-GRO-INDR.

Sep 20th 2022
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