Although there are plenty of references on insect pests, there are relatively few references that feature beneficial insects. I wrote this publication to illustrate and describe some of the common New Hampshire beneficial insects that might be found in your yard, garden, or farm. I’ll concentrate on predaceous insects, parasites, and pollinators. I will not cover insects that are beneficial in other ways, such as breaking down leaf litter, feeding on carrion, or serving as an important food sources for birds, bats, fish, and other animals. I won’t include beneficial species that are mostly encountered if you purchased them for release in greenhouses or other situations. You can find photos of them in catalogs and greenhouse references. I will not include species that are strictly aquatic. Since people learn from photographs, I’ve included as many photos as I could, to help you recognize beneficial insects by sight. I’ve listed size in millimeters, because it is more accurate than inches. There are 25.4 mm to the inch, so 1 mm is pretty small. Rather than organize the information taxonomically (by insect orders, then families in each order), I have arranged them by “profession”, starting with parasitic insects, then predators, then pollinators. At the end, I’ve described how to preserve and encourage beneficial insects on your farm or in your garden.
Download the Resource for the complete fact sheet and a printable version.
View the photo guide on a mobile device. (This photo is 4.5 inches wide and may need to be manually expanded to fill a tablet screen).