Not all insects are bad. Only about 1 percent of the of the estimated 87,000 species in the United States and Canada cause serious damage to crops, animals or stored products, or spread disease.
Yet even seasoned gardeners have the urge to grab insecticide spray when they see bugs.
Most insects are beneficial. Consider pollinators, such as bees and moths. Insects provide honey, silk and shellac, providing $20 billion to the U.S. economy annually, according to University of Wisconsin estimates. They serve as predators, destroying harmful insects and weeds. They are a food source for fish and birds and a source of beauty.
Beneficial insects include hoverflies, dragonflies, damsel bugs, garden spiders, green or brown lacewings and tiny parasites that feed on other insects.