Beneficial insects can help you with your pest control chores in your gardens. Beneficial insects are those helpful insects that prey on pests that attempt to ravage our gardens. This page offers you instructions on releasing the beneficial insects we either carry seasonally (lady bugs, praying mantis, beneficial nematodes) or bring in for special seminars (worms). Be sure to check out all the links on the page to learn more about beneficial insects and what they can do for your garden.
Rainbow Gardens Beneficial Insect Release Instructions
Ladybug Release Instructions
- Keep the ladybugs refrigerated or store in a cool place until you are ready to release. This calms them down and makes it easier to release the ladybugs in the area you wish them to be.
- Wait to release them until early evening/dusk period. They will most likely stay in the general area of where you placed them and find food and water.
- Water the garden area just before releasing the ladybugs.
- Open the container of ladybugs and gently shake them out in the selected area. Lightly water the area once again after the ladybugs have been released.
As long as there is a food source for your ladybugs, they will hang out and work tirelessly in your garden.
Praying Mantid/Mantis Release Instruction
- Attach the cases on twigs, leaves, fences, or the crotch of a bush or tree. Do not place on the ground because ants can get to them.
- Begin outdoor releases after last chance of frost and they should be hatched before August for best results.
- Praying mantis eat garden pests as well as beneficial insects but they do not eat ladybugs because they are bitter.
Average release rate of 3 cases per 5,000 square feet.
Beneficial Nematodes Release Instructions
Application for the 10 Mil. garden size Nematodes
- Your microscopic beneficial nematodes come in a sponge.
- Place the entire sponge in a gallon of water. The gallon container must not have ever been used for any other chemical (fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides).
- Squeeze the sponge in the water for a few minutes to get the nematodes out of the sponge.
- Discard the sponge and pour the gallon of water into a sprayer or water can and apply to the soil. Again, the sprayer and watering can must not have ever been used for previous chemical applications.
Optimal time for releasing beneficial nematodes is during rainy periods, as these are little “swimmers” that are able to travel deeper into the soil with moisture. And you want these beneficial nematodes to get to the soil-dwelling pests that feed on your plants roots. Can be used in lawns, garden beds, vegetable gardens, container gardens.
Red Wiggler Worms Release Instructions
- Store your worms in the refrigerator in a cloth bag (not in a plastic bag or container.)
- Release them early in the morning or after sunset. Do not release in direct sunlight.
- Lightly water the area before you release them and scatter them around the area.
The most common type of composting worm is the Red Wiggler Worm. As they feed, they digest great quantities of organic matter and release a residue called a worm casting that is very rich in nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and micronutrients. Those castings are amazing nutrients for your gardens. See more about worm composting here.
More info concerning beneficial insects
Happy Gardener blogs relating to beneficial insects
- Beneficial insects ladybugs/milkweed/aphids
- Lacewings: Move over ladybugs, there’s a new aphid eater in town!
- Beneficial Nematodes: Bring on the carnage!
- Vermicomposting: Part 1
- Vermicomposting: Part 2
- Ladybug, ladybug fly away home