The Beneficial Ground Beetle Is a Must Have For Any Garden
If you’ve ever had a garden or walked through one, you have probably encountered a ground beetle or two. You might turn over a rock or some other piece of debris and you spot a shiny black beetle scurrying away from the light, searching for cover. This sudden discovery may have felt a bit unnerving at the time, but that little beetle is actually one of the gardener’s most valuable allies. If you have a garden, then these little guys can prove to be a pretty big help. You might want to take a shot at finding some for your own garden.
While there are around 2,000 different species of ground beetle in the U.S., most of the ones you come across in a garden are nocturnal and are a good way of controlling the insect pest population without using chemical insecticides. They can prevent around 40% of crop damage when used as a biological insect pest control agent. They will chow down on many of the worst garden pests such as ants, aphids, maggots, slugs, wireworms, and caterpillars to name a few. Ground beetles tend to be either black or brown, with long legs, and vertical ridges running down their backs. Ground beetles live on the surface of the soil, usually underneath rocks, mulch, logs, and other garden debris.
You can attract ground beetles to your garden quite easily. You simply need to build a beetle refuge. To do this you will need to create a small, raised garden bed that is four feet long and two feet wide. Use a good layer of mulch in your garden and plant things like grasses and perennials native to your area. You will also want to add in some large rocks, logs, or other garden debris to function as ground beetle hideouts. This little refuge will attract and invite ground beetles into your garden where they can do their job controlling any insect pests that dare enter.
Do you utilize any insects such as ground beetles to help control pests in your garden? What other insects are good for protecting your plants from insect pests?