Which of the following are friends (beneficial insects) and which are foes (pests – destructive or otherwise problematic insects) to have in the garden (Central Florida, to be specific)? Can you help me name these and determine what to do with them, if anything?
[Update: thanks to Lyle J Buss at the University of Florida’s Insect Identification Laboratory, I’ve got ID’s for all but #4!]
1. Aphids (pest). I already sprayed this plant once with insecticidal soap because there were so many. Luckily the lady bugs / lady beetles have started to move in now.
2. Long legged fly (beneficial)
3. Fire ant (pest). I’m putting this guy as a pest because he and his buddies have been shepherding aphids in my garden.
4. Unknown fly
Unknown fly Fruit fly, family Tephritidae
Unknown fly or wasp A parasitic wasp, probably Braconidae
Unknown insect Springtails, Order Collembola
Unknown insect Probably a seed bug, family Lygaeidae