Do you face problems due to pests such as insects? What do you do to control these insects and to save your garden or farm?
We often resort to pesticides to deal with garden the pests. Let’s consider what happens when you attempt to poison pests. Pesticides don’t just control unwanted beetles and slugs. They often kill more than just the target nuisance, including beneficial natural predators like lady bugs. A general insecticide will kill the majority of bugs in an area, but more than 90 percent of them were beneficial or benign. Furthermore, if a pesticide gets into your soil, it may also harm soil organisms that help to keep your plants healthy. By their nature, pesticides present risk to animals, humans, and the environment because they are designed to harm living organisms. As time passes, they keep accumulating in our soil and water bodies.
In a balanced ecosystem, predators will be in the minority. In other words, in an environment, there are many more prey organisms to ensure a continuous food supply for the predators. In such an eco-system, there are huge numbers of prey including, aphids, white flies, cabbage worms, leaf miners, mole crickets, spider mites, and others that may be eating your crops, lawns, and landscape plants, but relatively few predator bugs such as assassin bugs and relatively few bug predators such as lizards, frogs, toads, birds and bats.
As your landscape recovers from the poisoning, bugs will begin to multiply again, but since you’ve killed off the beneficial insects that used to keep them under control, the predators that survived the poisoning have moved away to areas where they can make a living. Many harmful bugs, possibly including new pests that were previously controlled, will recover in even greater numbers than ever before. You spray again and the process repeats itself and each time the most damaging pests will recover in ever increasing numbers. Repeated poisonings often encourage resistance to that pesticide, and people then switch to even stronger poisons in higher concentrations. Thus, in short, you are choosing the most resistant pest to multiply and it is getting harder & harder to control these pests.
It’s time to break that cycle of harmful pesticides and manage your landscape as a complete ecosystem by using Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Like an old Korean proverb - ‘Do not draw your sword to kill a fly’, there are many ways to control pests instead of resorting to pesticides.
Relying on insect predators and other eco-friendly strategies to control your pests is not a matter of sitting back and doing nothing. As with any other effective gardening method, it requires awareness, education, experimentation, effort and patience. While it’s easy to recognize the larger pest predators, identifying the good & the bad bug is more challenging, but it’s a vital step for ecosystem gardening. Many insects that we see are actually beneficial, such as butterflies, bees, ladybugs, lacewings and fireflies. For Example, Butterflies & bees perform the important function of pollinating our crops and flowers, helping plants to reproduce. Lady Beetles and lacewings eat aphids, scale insects, plant-feeding mites and insect eggs.
We have to have it in mind that it is pretty natural to have a few bugs nibbling on your plants. If you keep your soil and your backyard ecosystem healthy, Mother Nature will normally keep things from getting out of hand. The discovery of one caterpillar in a row of thriving vegetables is quite natural. One possible solution is to expect and tolerate a certain amount of pest activity.
When control of pests is necessary, there are many options to choose from before resorting to pesticide. The best way to control pests is to head the problem off before it gets started. Plant a diversity of Native plants that bloom all year. Many predators supplement their diets with pollen and nectar, so the same blossoms which make your garden beautiful will tend to attract the insect predators that you need to defend it. One may also choose from wide range of cheap IPM methods like installing insect traps, pheromone kits etc. Plant some nectar-rich flora alongside the vegetables and along with beauty, you will get protection too! Try and find out which Good bugs are there in your garden...as they are working day & night to look after your garden!