Beneficial Insectaries – a Non-Chemical Approach to Pest Control
Posted: May 24, 2011
Fortunately, most pests have a predator. By inviting a sufficient number of beneficial insects to your garden you can reduce the pests to manageable numbers. Ideally you want to attract three different types of beneficial insects to your garden - predators, parasitoids, and pollinators. Here are some tips on how to make your garden beneficial insect friendly.
Don’t use pesticides: Pesticides don’t distinguish between beneficial insects and pests.
Plant an insectary: An insectary is a garden planted especially for insects. It can be near your vegetable garden or it can be a group of plants interspersed throughout your vegetable garden. You can also plant a large tub with plants that will attract insects and move it about your garden. Some plants to consider are basil, dill, oregano, thyme, nasturtium, zinnias, sunflowers, scabiosa, cosmos, sweet alyssum and yarrow. Visit the following website to learn about planting a “Good Bug Tub” http://extension.psu.edu/ipm/resources/pestproblemsolver/perennials-annuals/point-of-purchase/good-bug-tub.pdf/view
Provide water: Make a simple watering hole with a saucer and some rocks. Be sure to keep it filled during dry weather.
Provide cover for ground dwellers: Some beneficial insects stay on the ground searching for soil dwelling pests. Keep your gardens mulched. Mulch provides a place for these insects to burrow. Some ground dwelling insects will also hide under flat stones or boards.
Like all hosts get to know the guests you’ve invited to your garden. If you have identified an uninvited guest don’t reach for the bug spray, instead allow the beneficial insects you have invited do what nature intended for them to do.