Landscape Design

Natural pest control is a hotly-discussed topic in the green industry, as many insects can be incredibly hard to control, spreading disease to your plants, eating away at root systems, and generally causing a whole lot of trouble during the growing season. However, the nasty chemicals found in conventional pesticides can be just as problematic, meaning the best way to fight harmful insects in your garden is with—insects! Here's how you can attract these little helpers to your garden and control pests the natural way this year.

What Insects Will Naturally Control Pests in My Arkansas Garden?

You might be one of those people that dislikes all insects the same, but as we'll see, not all of them are created equally! Many insects are predatory and spend their spring and summer days munching on pesky garden pests, making them a super beneficial form of natural pest control. Keep these common garden insects meandering about in your Arkansas landscape and watch many of your seasonal pest control problems naturally solve themselves!


Ladybugs love to devour all of our most despised plant-eating insects, like mites, white flies, scales, and even thrips, making this radiant superstar one of our best garden allies. They're best known for their ability to absolutely decimate aphid infestations, however, with the capability to consume thousands of the little pests in their lifetime. Ladybugs also eat pollen naturally, so invite this good luck bug to your next garden party by planting yarrow, marigolds, sweet alyssum, cosmos, dill, fennel, calendula, and geranium.


These prehistoric creatures make wonderful natural pest control agents in the garden, and with their fave food being mosquitos, it's hard not to love them! They also love to hunt down gnats, aphids, and midges, so try attracting these guys to your backyard with a pond or other natural standing water feature. They also have a few favorite plants, so look to grow black-eyed Susan's, yarrows, coneflowers, and borages.


Just as the name suggests, the assassin bug is a rockstar in the natural pest control world, ruthlessly hunting down its victims. From aphids to leafhoppers, the assassin bug uses its dagger-like mouthpart to poison its prey, making it a deadly ally for any Arkansas garden. They're not difficult to attract, either, and will show up for dinner anywhere vegetation is alive and blooming.


Just as spiders are good for keeping unwanted insect invasions at bay inside the home, they're also great for naturally controlling pests out in your garden. Although not technically insects, spiders deserve a spot on this list all the same thanks to their love for hunting down pests like aphids, mosquitos, and spider mites. You don't have to do much to attract spiders to your garden, either, and chances are you've already got plenty of the little guys scurrying around, keeping things under control. Many spiders overwinter inside our homes, garages, and sheds before returning back outdoors come spring. If you'd like to draw in more spiders naturally, plant lots of flowers alongside your fruits, veggies, herbs, and other pest-attracting plants.


Some find them cute, but the praying mantis is actually a deadly hunter and a valuable natural pest control asset for any garden. They actively and effectively hunt down typical garden pests like aphids, but they also, unfortunately, hunt beneficial garden insects and pollinators like ladybugs, hoverflies, lacewings, and butterflies. They even regrettably love hunting down hummingbirds, so if you're a devoted hummingbird enthusiast, attract praying mantises at your own discretion. To do so, plant an eco-friendly garden with plants in the rose or raspberry family and plenty of tall grasses for them to hide in.


You might not think of the lacewing as someone to invite to your Arkansas landscape, but these delicate insects are also valuable forms of natural pest control. Lacewings can consume thousands of insect eggs in all stages of growth, and particularly enjoy going after a wide variety of nuisance bugs, like mealybugs, aphids, and thrips. Many flowering plants will attract green lacewings to your garden, including yarrow, dill, poppy, and even ferns.

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