Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pests by nature

So far we have managed to keep garden pests in check without resorting to chemical sprays. A healthy bird population has helped and we try to provide habitat for insects which are pest preditors. The lizards, toads and snakes help too. Picking off grubs and caterpillars by hand and dispatching them by hand is not for the faint hearted but you can always wear gloves. Beneficial insects like ladybirds, butterflies and moths and are fairly easy to recognise in their adult form whilst in their larvae or caterpillar form are not so easy to identify.

 In the two photographs shown here one bug is feeding on a morning glory vine, a plant we are now eradicating from our displays and therefore not really much of a pest. The second creature is munching though the leaves of a much wanted Brugmansia (Datura) and had to be removed though it did not give up without a struggle. Where possible it is important to allow wild flowers (weeds) to bloom where they are food crops for the native insect population. In springtime it is our borage and other self seeded flowers which give a much needed boost to those much needed pollinating insects.  

      

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