This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
The horticulturist has many staunch and true friends among the insects. The honey-bee, the many wild bees, and other insects, as they visit the blossoms to get food for themselves, for their young, and honey for man, leave an insurance policy in the shape of tiny grains of pollen, which often insures a crop of fruit that otherwise might be extremely uncertain. The honey-bee is often accused of biting into ripe fruits, especially grapes. They have not yet been proved guilty, and careful, exhaustive experiments have shown that they will not do it under the most favorable circumstances. Wasps and other strong-jawed insects are responsible for most of this injury, the bees only sipping the juice from the wound. See Bees, Vol. I. Most of the pretty little beetles known to every child as "lady-bugs" eat nothing but injurious insects; many other beetles are also predaceous. Man is also often deeply indebted to many of the two-winged insects or true flies whose larvae live as parasites inside the body of insect pests or feed upon them predaceously. Were it not for the ravenous larvae of the "lady-bugs" and of the syrphus flies, plant-hce of all kinds would soon get beyond control.
While man must recognize these little friends as valuable aids in his warfare against the hordes of insect pests, it will rarely be safe to wait for the pests to be controlled by their enemies. Fig. 1315 shows a tomato worm bearing the cocoons of a parasite. Fig. 1310 shows one of the predaceous beetles destroying a cutworm.
Fig. 1307. Imago of a tent-caterpillar.
Fig. 1308. A beetle. The adult of a borer larva.
Fig. 1309. One of the weevil beetles. With a long and strong proboscis.