Not all bugs are pests. It’s a great misconception about gardening that almost all insects can be harmful for your garden, except butterflies and bees. That’s not true at all. All things considered, you need to know about the good and the bad bugs that build their nests around your garden. This way, you will know which ones to remove, and which ones to attract.

The basic idea for encouraging insect balance in your garden starts from understanding the benefits of some types of bugs. Aside from helping with pollination, one primary advantage the “good bugs” offer is pest control. There are natural enemies in the insect world. The good bugs actually eat the bad ones, so your need for chemicals can be greatly reduced simply by having the right combination of bugs.

good vs bad bugs

You should also be able to identify good bugs, so you are not killing the insects that can help your garden. Identification is easy with the internet. Visit the library or check out sites like There you can find a quick rundown of beneficial bugs, links to where you can actually buy them, and guidance on how to release them into your garden. Keep in mind it is helpful to know all stages of the insect’s life because they look quite different from larvae to adult.

Moreover, it is important to identify bad bugs and attract natural predators. Often you see the damages before you search for the culprit. Holes, tracks, and strange looking material on leaves are all clues that you’ve got a problem pest. Consult with your garden center or a website to know what the signs mean.

When you’ve seen a bug you think is guilty, look for a reference tool to aid in identifying the problem bug and its natural predators. Another strategy is to strategically grow “sacrificial plants” to draw the bad bugs away from the plants you care about to a plant they will want to eat instead.

Gardening is really more than just planting and maintaining plants. It’s more about controlling a favorable ecosystem of insects for your plants.

Keep these bad bugs out of your garden.


Anyone who’s ever had a houseplant has seen mealybugs – fluffs of white that seemingly appear out of nowhere and turn to cottony masses overnight. They get their name from their mealy-looking coating. Mealybugs tend to congregate in large colonies on stems or leaves. Because all ages group together, various sizes can be seen in one area. Males, which are rarely seen, are actually tiny winged insects.

mealy bugs

Mealybugs excrete honeydew as they eat, a sweet, sticky substance that promotes growth of sooty mold fungus, which looks like black goo on the leaves. These bugs suck plant sap, weakening tissue and causing stunted, distorted, discolored, spotted, or yellowed foliage. Large infestations can cause premature leaf or fruit drop. Mature plants rarely die but can look stunted and unhealthy.

Palmetto bugs

Palmetto bug is a general name that is commonly used to refer to an American cockroach (Periplaneta americana). The American cockroaches, sometimes called the Bombay canary or flying water bug, love to live in dark damp places and are commonly found in warmer climates. According to the University of Michigan, the palmetto bug can grow to around 2 inches in length, are reddish brown in color, and have wings.

palmetto bug

Palmetto bugs can also feed on your plants, but most importantly they are harmful to humans. Excrement and molted skins from palmetto bugs can also cause allergic reactions like asthma, blocked nasal passages, skin rashes, and sneezing. According to the Journal of Allergy, the Periplaneta americana cockroach is a major source of indoor allergens.

Worm Trio: Tomato Hornworm, Corn Earworm, Imported Cabbage Worm

Especially when you have a vegetable garden, you’ve more than likely encountered one or all of these common pests. These caterpillars are eating machines that wreak havoc when they are hungry, which is almost always. The most dramatic among them is the tomato hornworm, the most common is the cabbage worm, and the most serious in its economic impact to agriculture is the corn earworm.

With its large size (as long as 4 inches), distinctive markings and angry-looking horn, the tomato hornworm is enough to cause quite a shock when seen in the garden. The pale green caterpillar has diagonal white stripes, tiny black spots along those stripes, and a larger, ringed black spot at the bottom of each stripe. Despite its menacing looks, the horn at the rear is harmless. Adults are mottled gray moths with a wingspan of 4 to 5 inches and rows of orange dots along the sides of the abdomen.

tomato hornworm

Meanwhile, as the second member of this trifecta, the corn earworm grows to nearly 2 inches and varies from light green to pinkish-brown to black with stripes running lengthwise along the body. Whisker-like spines sprout from dark warts on the body. Adults are night-flying, yellowish-tan moths with a wingspan of 1.5 to 2 inches.

Lastly, the velvety green cabbage worms are about 1.5 inches long with a fine, light yellow stripe down the back. Adults are the common white moths with black markings often seen in gardens.

All three worms are voracious foliage eaters and contaminate what’s left with their feces. Hornworms can also eat into green fruit. Corn earworms would eat down through the kernels and feed on developing tassels. In tomatoes, earworms leave deep watery cavities, while in cabbages, worms would chew on the heads of cauliflower and broccoli.

Here are some of the good bugs that you should not exterminate, as they can be highly beneficial to your garden.

Praying Mantis

They pray, and they prey. Praying mantes are natural predators of the insect world, and they prey on the harmful bugs in the garden. “Almost anything that moves” should be fairly accurate when describing what the praying mantis preys on. Baby mantes tend to go for aphids and other small, slow-moving insects.

praying mantis


One of the most familiar and beloved (if you can love a bug) insects in the world, lady beetles are commonly red or orange with black spots. They can also be yellow with black spots or solid red, orange, black or yellow. The larvae resemble tiny, six-legged alligators with a rough hide of gray or black with a little orange. Unlike the old nursery rhyme that implores ladybugs to “fly away home,” gardeners should beg them to stay.


Lady beetles devour soft-bodied insects, especially aphids. Their larvae eat even more than their bug parents. Not everyone is happy with ladybugs, however. Some people see them as pests when they end up congregating in large numbers. You can read more about this alternative opinion through this link –

Green Lacewing

They look delicate and beautiful, but their fragile appearance is the total opposite of its predatory nature. Green Lacewing bugs are slender, delicate and about .5 inch to .75 inch long. The adults are pale green with netted wings held upright over their bodies, and they have copper-colored eyes and long antennae.

green lacewing

Its larvae look like tiny alligators with visible legs and pincers. Light brown or green and spotted or striped, they usually reach about .5 to 1 inch at maturity.

Lacewing larvae are more ravenous than its “teenagers.” They devour aphids faster than boys eat hamburgers and slurp down mealybugs, whiteflies, thrips, mites, and small caterpillars.

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If You Want to be as Great as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Sir Richard Branson, Read This

Success, real insane success is a marathon. Oh, and there are no shortcuts. You can’t spring your way to greatness. It takes times, a very long time.

Here is Richard Branson’s business timeline – his business ventures from the 1960s to today. It’s a very long list. It will give you an idea of what it took him to get to now.

These are two of the most upvoted responses on Quora to this question: “How can I be as great as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Sir Richard Branson?

1. Justine Musk, Canadian author, and the first wife of Elon Musk

Extreme success results from an extreme personality and comes at the cost of many other things. Extreme success is different from what I suppose you could just consider ‘success’, so know that you don’t have to be Richard or Elon to be affluent and accomplished and maintain a great lifestyle.

Your odds of happiness are better that way. But if you’re extreme, you must be what you are, which means that happiness is more or less beside the point. These people tend to be freaks and misfits who were forced to experience the world in an unusually challenging way.

They developed strategies to survive, and as they grow older they find ways to apply these strategies to other things, and create for themselves a distinct and powerful advantage.

They don’t think the way other people think. They see things from angles that unlock new ideas and insights. Other people consider them to be somewhat insane.

Be obsessed.

Be obsessed.

Be obsessed.

If you’re not obsessed, then stop what you’re doing and find whatever does obsess you. It helps to have an ego, but you must be in service to something bigger if you are to inspire the people you need to help you  (and make no mistake, you will need them).

That ‘something bigger’ prevents you from going off into the ether when people flock round you and tell you how fabulous you are when you aren’t and how great your stuff is when it isn’t. Don’t pursue something because you “want to be great”.

Pursue something because it fascinates you, because the pursuit itself engages and compels you. Extreme people combine brilliance and talent with an *insane* work ethic, so if the work itself doesn’t drive you, you will burn out or fall by the wayside or your extreme competitors will crush you and make you cry.

Follow your obsessions until a problem starts to emerge, a big meaty challenging problem that impacts as many people as possible, that you feel hellbent to solve or die trying.

It might take years to find that problem, because you have to explore different bodies of knowledge, collect the dots and then connect and complete them.

It helps to have superhuman energy and stamina. If you are not blessed with godlike genetics, then make it a point to get into the best shape possible.

There will be jet lag, mental fatigue, bouts of hard partying, loneliness, pointless meetings, major setbacks, family drama, issues with the Significant Other you rarely see, dark nights of the soul, people who bore and annoy you, little sleep, less sleep than that. Keep your body sharp to keep your mind sharp. It pays off.

Learn to handle a level of stress that would break most people.

Don’t follow a pre-existing path, and don’t look to imitate your role models. There is no “next step”. Extreme success is not like other kinds of success; what has worked for someone else, probably won’t work for you.

They are individuals with bold points of view who exploit their very particular set of unique and particular strengths. They are unconventional, and one reason they become the entrepreneurs they become is because they can’t or don’t or won’t fit into the structures and routines of corporate life.

They are dyslexic, they are autistic, they have ADD, they are square pegs in round holes, they piss people off, get into arguments, rock the boat, laugh in the face of paperwork.

But they transform weaknesses in ways that create added advantage — the strategies I mentioned earlier — and seek partnerships with people who excel in the areas where they have no talent whatsoever.

They do not fear failure — or they do, but they move ahead anyway. They will experience heroic, spectacular, humiliating, very public failure but find a way to reframe until it isn’t failure at all.

When they fail in ways that other people won’t, they learn things that other people don’t and never will. They have incredible grit and resilience.

They are unlikely to be reading stuff like this. (This is *not* to slam or criticize people who do; I love to read this stuff myself.) They are more likely to go straight to a book: perhaps a biography of Alexander the Great or Catherine the Great* or someone else they consider Great.

Surfing the ‘Net is a deadly timesuck, and given what they know their time is worth — even back in the day when technically it was not worth that — they can’t afford it.

I could go on, it’s a fascinating subject, but you get the idea. I wish you luck and strength and perhaps a stiff drink should you need it.

2. Michael Simmons, Co-Founder, Empact & Award-Winning Entrepreneur

Most of these people have focused on individual traits such as hard work, deliberate practice, etc.. But when we look in the real world, we see that individual traits aren’t the whole story.

There are so many people who work extremely hard, have great ideas, plan out big things and so forth, yet they are not nearly as successful as these four legends.

I myself am an entrepreneur. I have been since the age of 16. Recently though, I had the same underlying question you had.

Because of that, I went out searching for the answer.

Through my interviews I do for Forbes, I recently came across the field of network science. This field has studied how people become successful from a completely different angle. They’ve found that how we build our network may be the best predictor of success.

Since then, I have interviewed many of the world’s top network scientists on a quest to understand how networks create competitive advantage in business and careers.

Out of the four legends that have been mentioned, I feel that the best person to showcase as a prime example of how networks impact success is  Steve Jobs.

Since then, books have been written and movies have been made.

Each has celebrated his legacy and aimed to share the secrets he used to build the largest company in the world; things like attention to detail, attracting world-class talent and holding them to high standards.

We think we understand what caused his success.

We don’t.

We dismiss usable principles of success by labeling them as personality quirks.

What’s often missed is the paradoxical interplay of two of his seemingly opposite qualities;

  1. Maniacal focus
  2. Insatiable curiosity

These weren’t just two random strengths. They may have been his most important as they helped lead to everything else.

Jobs’ curiosity fueled his passion and provided him with access to unique insights, skills, values, and world-class people who complemented his own skillset. Job’s focus brought those to bear in the world of personal electronics.

I don’t just say this as someone who has devoured practically every article, interview, and book featuring him.

I say this as someone who has been monomaniacal in the study and research of what the underlying key components are that create career success.

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