Having bugs in your outside garden is impossible to avoid, but did you know there are three bugs that you should never kill if you do come across them in your garden? These three bugs not only don’t harm your plants but improve your gardens over all health!

The assassin bug: This bug got it’s name from it’s toxic saliva and speed it uses to kill it’s prey, but what you might not know is this little bug preys on a wide variety of garden pests and doesn’t hurt your plants.

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Syrphid, flower, or hover flies: These insects are often confused with the oh-so-similar looking bee or wasp but in fact don’t have a stinger. Syrphid larva can consume hundreds of aphids in one month where as the adult Syrphid feasts on pollen and nectar.

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Pirate bugs: these little bugs are mainly found in crop areas such a corn, cotton etc. They do an excellent job of eating a large variety of main garden pests while protecting the crops. Two plants that hover flies are attracted to (along with many others) are dill and lavender!

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Things you can do to encourage these helpful bugs is by actually buying and introducing them into your environment or planting something that attracts the bugs into the environment. Here at Phoenix we inform our garden students about the beneficial bugs in our garden and not to kill them. We purchased baby mantids that weren’t hatched and introduced them into the environment  once they did hatch.

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