The 20 inhabitants of the garden: a friend or an enemy

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Ant, wasp, spider, cricket… Are they friends or enemies of the garden? Find out if you can trust these 20 gardeners.

Many garden inhabitants seem unpleasant, even harmful, because of their behavior, while others, more friendly, inspire confidence. But you can’t rely on the appearance of animals, which often hide their reality…


1. Staphylin: Friend

It’s one of the best decomposers, and good compost piles are full of it. This evil black animal is responsible for the decomposition of other animals. It has a varied diet, consisting entirely of decaying materials. It can be seen in the foliage of plants, where it sometimes wanders.

2. Syrphe: Friend
We fear its presence because it is often mistaken for a wasp. But the adult butterfly is an excellent glutton. Its larvae are discreet and constitute a good predator for aphids. What good things!

3. Cranefly: Enemy
Despite the appearance of a giant mosquito, which fears large bites, it is unable to bite, let alone suck blood. But it is the larvae that are feared. Worms that live in the marshy ground, the larvae of larks, like the larvae of a finch, gnaw the underground parts of plants. The lark lays its eggs in flight, hence its always hesitant course, as if it were intoxicated: it parachutes its eggs!

4. Greyworm: Enemy
This worm is actually a caterpillar, the butterfly caterpillar. The woodworm gnaws at many plants, often in the most sensitive part, the crown (which delimits the roots of the aerial parts). Fortunately, the moth has many enemies.

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5. psylla: Enemy
This small caustic insect, discreet because almost transparent, is even more harmful than the grasshopper. Like the grasshopper, the psyllid transmits diseases and weakens the plants it attacks. But psylla also causes the deformation of young leaves and forming of buds.

6. Thumbtack: Friend and Foe
As with ants, it depends on the type of insect it is. Both short-bodied and Broad-bodied insects are phytophagous insects, which impart a bad taste to the fruit they attack; they can cause the death of young shoots. Long-bodied insects, which often run fast, are predators of aphids, lay eggs of biting insects (also other insects), and therefore are real helpers of the gardener.

7. Great Grasshopper: Enemy
Although it does not cause very visible damage, the large grasshopper rarely makes large holes in the leaves, but it does not damage a particular plant. Be careful not to grab it with your hands, because it bites and it’s hard!

8. Wasp: Friend and foe
The most common wasp, the Saxon wasp, forms wrapped and often buried nests. It attacks the fruit and abysses it. But polyssops, these wasps that form bare nests, only feed on the insects they have hunted, such as caterpillars and adult mosquitoes. These are more like gardener’s friends. Note: There are wasps that form small nests (usually 1cm long and in the ground) that only hunt spiders. They are often found behind blinds or between two very close walls.

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9. Earwig: Friend
He chews dahlia leaves at the end of the season just because his favorite food, aphids, is too scarce. He eats more than ladybugs…

10. Ants: friends and enemies
Some clean the grass seeds they eat (Mexican ants), but others defend their colonies against aphids, even against natural predators. Their role is therefore ambiguous and differs according to the species with which we are dealing.


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