Pest control is an important part of maintaining your house, yard and garden, but that doesn’t mean having to spray down your environment with harmful chemicals. There are actually insects out there that can be beneficial in helping you get rid of destructive pests, and learning to recognize what those are may save you from applying pesticides that are unhealthy for you, your pets and plants. The food chain out in the wild can be pretty harsh, but can also yield a positive approach to a more organic route of pest management. Using their natural predators, you can eliminate the intrusive pests that are roaming around your property and attacking your defenseless plants.
Lacewings can be a very effective method of pest control as they are avid eaters and not shy about it. They survive best under certain conditions, like in a greenhouse, and require an ample source of honeydew, nectar or pollen to support a constant reproduction process. They are most commonly used for managing pests like mealybugs, small caterpillars, aphids, thrips and whiteflies.
It’s not all that uncommon to see a praying mantis kept as a household pet, but many people don’t realize that they can actually be of some use to you around the yard as well. The larger insect is instrumental in being quick enough to catch annoying flies and mosquitos and one of the few still awake at night to pluck moths right out of the air.
As a popular insect that people don’t mind having around, ladybugs can also serve a purpose besides just being pretty. Adult ladybugs and their larvae naturally feed on aphids, which is a common pest found in gardens that can result in big problems. In their lifetime, ladybugs generally consume thousands of aphids, cutting down on their population quite a bit. In order to reproduce and continue contributing their services to your pest control, ladybugs will also need a good supply of pollen and flower nectar and can’t be exposed to pesticides. They can also be found eating mites, scales, bollworms, leafhoppers and leafworms.
Large amounts of beneficial nematodes are already in the soil all around us. They are threatening to numerous types of pests that reside in the earth and dispose of many before they ever have the chance of making it to adulthood. Nematodes are especially useful in getting rid of fleas, Japanese beetles, weevils, grubs and mole crickets. They do this by actually entering the body of the other insect and infecting it with bacteria, but there should be no concern over them harming pets, plants or humans.
Nothing can be quite as irritating as a fly that gets in the house and never leaves. With fly parasites nearby you can help fix that problem since they exterminate pest flies before they even hatch. The parasites are so small they usually go unnoticed and won’t affect anything else around the house.
Letting Mother Nature take its natural course and help to manage your pest control can make things a lot easier on you. However, it may be best to combine these methods with another kind of organic pest control if you have a large garden you’re trying to save or too many pests to get a handle on.
About the Author
Tiffany Olson lives in California and blogs regularly on home related topics including pest control, home safety, and home insurance. Killroy Pest Control helped her recently with a sticky pest situation. Among other services, they specialize in pest control in Hayward, CA.