Beetles are the most diverse insect order, with over 350,000 species. So it goes without saying that you will definitely encounter beetles while in your garden. Of course, not all beetles are good for your garden... For example, the Japanese beetle is definitely more of a pest than a helper. But to counter that there are plenty of beetles out there that are good for your garden life. They will prey on other garden pests, pollinate your plants and even help to compost decaying plants and animal material.
Because there is such a diverse amount of different beetle species it is sometimes hard to know which are beneficial and which are not, so here is a list of some of the more common garden beetles that will be working hard to improve your garden by keeping it healthy and pest free.
Soldier beetles serve as pollinators by feeding on nectar and pollen, they will also feed on other insects which will help with pest control in your garden. Soldier beetles larvae also happen to be carnivorous, so they too will feed on eggs and other larvae. These helpful little creatures are active during the day and live in vegetation.
The ground beetle is a nocturnal bug, They are one of the most effective beetles for pest control. They are insatiable predators that will police your garden in search of prey. Like the soldier beetle, their larvae are also carnivorous. These beetles are fast and effective runners and they have large mandibles that help them hold and dispatch their prey. Their beetle family includes the bombardier beetle and the tiger beetle.
One of a gardener's mortal enemies is and will forever be snails and slugs, and this is why one of a gardener's best friends will be the firefly. They are well known for their glowing abdomens. Unfortunately, these pretty bugs don't live too long, but their larvae are incredibly predatory, making meals on other insects most importantly on snails and slugs.
Ladybug beetles could easily be one of the prettiest beetles you will find. Some ladybirds are black with red spots others could be orange with black spots and some will have no spots at all. Ladybugs will feast on those pests that are out to damage your plants. This makes them especially valuable if you have succulents in your garden as a lot of them are prone to aphids, mealybugs and scales, all of which the ladybug considers food, as adults and as larvae.
Below is a list of plants that will help you attract these hard working beetles to your garden.
Angelica (Ladybugs & Ground Beetles)
Long Grass (Fireflies)
Milkweed (Soldier Beetle)
Golden Rod (Soldier Beetle)
Dill (Ground Beetles)
Marigolds (Ground Beetles)