Natural garden pest control

There are natural predators that can help control your garden pests such as slugs, snails, aphids and weevils and because they’re non-toxic are safe for users, their children and pets plus wildlife such as birds or hedgehogs.

 

The most commonly know garden eco pest control are birds, hedgehogs, frogs and toads  Toad, natural pest control though there are millions of other smaller creatures living in our gardens, some so small that you can only see them under the microscope.

 

Ladybirds have a voracious appetite for aphids and can each eat several hundred a day. The larvae which look a bit like black maggots with stubby legs are equally voracious aphid killers.

Hoverfly larvae which look even more like maggots grab the greenfly and suck out their juices before discarding the inedible skin. The larvae can consume about 100 aphids a day. The adult insects although resembling bees and wasps are sting less and totally harmless as its name suggests, hover in the air and are useful plant pollinators.

 

Lacewing larvae have two hollow pincers that grab and puncture the aphid and then suck out the juices before discarding the inedible skin. Lacewing larva

The adult insect has large lace-like wings and brilliant green eyes. The females lay their eggs on the end of delicate stalks which they attached to the underside of leaves and branches where the aphids are feeding. 

 

Wasps are the tigers in the air and although maybe considered a pest eat a large number of aphids and caterpillars.

 

Ground beetles come in various sizes and colour ranging from black to greens to violet. They are very useful predators of slugs, snails, chafer grubs, leatherjacket larvae, weevil larvae and caterpillars.

 

 Parasitic wasp Smaller still are the parasitic wasps that parasitize aphids and caterpillars.

They lay their eggs in the host body. The grubs then consume the prey from the inside and emerge later in the year to repeat they cycle

 Even smaller still are the tiny nematode worms.

These live in the soil and are so minute you can only see them under a microscope. These tiny microscopic worms seek out slugs and kill them. Nematode worm, natural slug killer

This happens when the slugs are underground. They enter the slug’s body through a hole behind their heads. Once inside they release a bacteria which stops the slug eating. The nematodes then start to reproduce inside the slug. The nematodes continue to reproduce as the body breaks down. This new population enters the soil and searches out new slugs to attack. Although it’s not very nice for the slugs it means that if a bird or hedgehog were to eat an infected slug it won’t kill them or their young as might happen if they ate a slug that was dying after eating slug pellets.

I’ve made a website with pest and diseases plus beneficial garden wildlife. Please see www.rightplants4me.co.uk

Advertisements

3 Responses to Natural garden pest control

  1. Julian says:

    It’s great that you are promoting natural methods of pest control rather than using the nasty stuff as a first resort.

  2. For the health or environmentally conscience gardener, using chemical pesticides is simply not an option. Common chemical pesticides used or stored incorrectly can pose a health risk to you, your family, your pets, and can kill beneficial insects that actually help your garden plants. Moreover, chemical pesticides can eventually find their way into our rivers, lakes, and municipal water sources.

  3. Rose says:

    How do I keep wild rabbits from eating my grass in my front yard!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: