If both synthetic and organic pesticides are harmful, and all the available ammunition seems likely to backfire and cause more harm than good, how can the backyard gardener win the battle over the bugs? Victory in the garden will require ceding a little territory to the "bad" bugs and allying yourself with the army of beneficial insects.
Entomologists estimate that better than 90% of all insects are beneficial, even necessary to lawn and garden health. These "Good Guys" may be the predators which eat the garden pests or they contribute to garden health by pollinating, burrowing air holes, composting garden debris and a host of other necessary duties.
Half of the remaining 10% are considered neutral, a part of the garden food chain, leaving only 5% that create the damage.Sometimes it seems that the whole 5% has settled in your garden but an ideal garden has small numbers of all common bugs, and the pests need only be controlled, not eliminated.
Get to Know Your Bugs
Call a truce and get to know your bugs! Brown ground beetles eat slugs and their eggs. Adding a few paving stones or other large flat rocks to the garden or flowerbed will make them feel right at home. Ladybugs are voracious aphid eater, consuming as many as five thousand in a lifetime.
Grow plants in your vegetable and flower garden like columbine, creeping thyme, yarrow, English lavender, mint, dill, chamomile and fennel. These attract the beneficial insects that naturally prey on many of the pests. Check for signs of insect damage at least once a week. When possible remove insect pests and their eggs by hand.