Though many bugs and other creatures can cause serious headache for homeowners or anyone managing a garden, there are plenty of critters that actually serve a number of benefits. These may promote healthy plant growth, provide aesthetic beauty or even prey on pests that can otherwise cause damage.
Next time you head outside, see if you can spot these helpful animals in your back lawn or garden.
Better Homes and Gardens reported that these flying insects are great because they eat up smaller, more annoying bugs. Dragonflies do best in areas where there is access to water, where they sweep across the surface to catch mosquitos and other creatures. Children love dragonflies and they evoke a certain sense of imagination, but they also provide a unique pest control service.
Frogs and toads
Another backyard mainstay that is fun to observe and a helpful insectivore are the various species of frogs and toads that may turn up in your yard. For homeowners with any sort of water feature, frogs are likely frequent visitors.
Smaller species can eat insects that might otherwise terrorize your yard, while the American Bullfrog can even feast on small rodents or birds. These frogs have ferocious appetites and will eat insects, spiders and anything else they can get ahold of.
Mites, aphids and other small garden pests are the perfect food for daddy longlegs, the National Wildlife Federation reported. Also called harvestmen, these arachnids aren't actually true spiders. All the same, they are effective predators that will roam your garden and eat up insects that may otherwise damage your plants.
Though it would be hard for anyone to consider the hummingbird a pest, it can be easy to overlooked just how impressive and important these visitors can be to your garden. Though other species such as bats and insects are considered critical pollinators to flowering plants, few are as attractive as the hummingbird.
As these birds go from flower to flower drinking up nectar, they inadvertently become dusted with pollen, which they transfer between individual plants. This promotes good health and breeding, all while the hummingbird enjoys a sweet, tasty treat.
When it comes to keeping rodents in check, garter snakes and other common serpents are perfect because they are not venomous or large enough to pose a risk to humans or pets. Some areas of the country may have to contend with larger, more dangerous species of snake, but the smaller varieties can help you keep unwanted pests away from your backyard.
As Better Homes and Garden pointed out, the humble earthworm is a homeowner's best friend for keeping a healthy lawn or garden. These little bugs aerate the soil and provide natural fertilizer to plants. At the same time, these worms feast on dying or decaying plant matter, which is useful for maintenance and keeping nutrients from being wasted. According to the source, there may be as many as 1.5 million earthworms in a single acre of land, a testament to these amazing creatures.