Scientists have identified around 925,000 species of insects in the world. That’s a lot of bugs!
While there are lots of harmful bugs out there (even here in the Portland and Vancouver area), there are some you don’t need to worry about, either.
Read on to learn what bugs you can leave alone here in the Pacific Northwest without worrying about any danger to your property, family, or self.
What bugs SHOULD you worry about?
Before we get into what bugs you DO NOT need to worry about, it’s important to remember that there are lots of little pesky insects out there that need to be controlled for you and your property’s safety.
Some insects that need to be controlled to keep you and your family safe include:
If you see these troublesome insects, get in touch with EcoCare Pest Control. Our insect extermination solution is 100% safe for people and most pets. We’ll target and eliminate your insect infestation and prevent future infestations from popping up.
Contact us online for advice and a firm price for getting rid of your insect infestation.
While they can potentially cause harm if they make their way into your home, for the most part Ladybugs are a positive presence in your outdoor space. Why is this? It’s because they themselves act as a natural pest exterminator!
Ladybugs actually eat many pests that are harmful, such as Fruit Flies, Mites, Thrips, and other harmful plant damaging insects like Aphids. Some Ladybugs may consume up to 5,000 Aphids in their life.
Further — Ladybugs won’t damage your home, your pets, or your family. In the meantime, they are an active member of the ecosystem and remove pests bad for the flora and fauna around your home. Now that’s what I call a symbiotic relationship.
Just watch out. Mexican Bean Beetles and the Squash Beetle can cause some minor harm to your plants, so make sure to identify insects to make sure they are in fact Ladybugs.
While still possessing the ability to cause some mild harm, Honey Bees are one of the most valuable members of the animal kingdom. These super insects pollinate flowers and crops. This is done by collecting nectar and pollen, which is then turned into delicious, sweet, and nutritious honey. This actually makes them the only insect that produces food eaten by humans!
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be wary of Honey Bees, and it certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about their similar (yet very different) relatives, Wasps, Yellowjackets, and Hornets. While Bees eat nectar and pollen, Hornets and Wasps are carnivores and have a different place in the ecosystem. Importantly, Hornets and Wasps are a lot more aggressive and more likely to injure you and your family.
Luckily, there is an easy way to differentiate. If the Bee-like insect you see is furry, breathe easy, as all Honey Bees appear furry. If not, it’s likely an aggressive Hornet or Wasp that needs to be dealt with.
Let’s face it, Earwigs look scary. Their gigantic pincers look like they could do some serious damage. Fortunately, despite their scary appearance Earwigs are not poisonous, do not sting, and cause no harm to humans or pets.
In fact, Earwigs are a great member of your neighborhood ecosystem by eating dead bugs and gobbling up dead and decomposing plant matter. This actually helps your garden and the other plant life on your property thrive.
Despite their size (a Praying Mantis can grow up to 6 inches long!) they are not to be feared! These bugs cannot hurt you and are a form of pest control themselves. So much so that many gardeners actually buy Praying Mantises to release into their gardens. There is such high demand that many gardening stores keep the bugs stocked up during the gardening season!
Why are they such good pest controls themselves? These buggers munch on everything from flies, to Beetles, to Moths. Fun fact — the Praying Mantis is the only insect able to rotate its head 180 degrees, making it a flexible little predator.
Given their beauty and natural wonder, we probably don’t need to do too much convincing for you to leave Butterflies alone — but just to be sure: Butterflies cannot do you any harm.
Butterflies, in addition to being beautiful creatures, pollinate flowers, eat other insects, and are a valuable member of the ecosystem. They’ll actually promote the health of your garden and any other plants on your property. Plus, many are endangered and have regulations protecting them.
If you see a gathering of Butterflies on your property — enjoy. If anything, you’ve been blessed with a natural wonder that will bring both health and beauty.
These delicate insects, sometimes called Stink Flies, are a valuable bug neighbor. While adult Green Lacewings eat pollen and actually don’t eat bugs, their offspring are aphid munchers!
These Green Lacewing larva eat aphids and other critters, such as Spider Mites, Thrips, and many more small insects. Much like Praying Mantis, you can actually buy Green Lacewing eggs at gardening stores to help you naturally control pests in your garden.
Just don’t touch these bugs! While they’ll do no harm, they do release a mildly unsettling odor when threatened. The mild smell of the Green Lacewing is nothing compared to the good they’ll do for your home’s ecosystem.
One of the most misunderstood bugs in the animal kingdom, Dragonflies are one of your home ecosystem’s most beneficial insects.
Dragonflies are straight-up insect killers. In fact, Dragonflies are known for their love of small, flying sects such as Mosquitos — the bane of a relaxing summer evening barbeque. While you may have confidence in your fly swatting ability, Dragonflies will do a much better job of controlling the Mosquito population. They’re not called Mosquito Hawks for nothing!
Further, Dragonflies won’t do you much harm. While Dragonflies can bite, it is extremely rare. Even when provoked, they are much more likely to fly away than attack. If you do get bitten — there is never a reason to fret. Bites from Dragonflies will not cause any lasting harm.