Natural pest control
The most effective way to control garden pests is to encourage a naturally diverse, functioning ecosystem, which will include the predators of those creatures that we regard as ‘pests’. Incorporate a wide range of habitats and different plant species to create a healthy garden, where the natural balance is struck and no single species reaches such a population that is becomes a ‘pest’.
Ladybird larva eating aphids. Judith Conroy.
Aphids predated by parasitoid wasps. Judith Conroy.
Use pesticide free plants and seeds
The Blooms for Bees Border at Ryton Organic Gardens.
Many plants, bulbs and seeds for sale in garden centres, nurseries and from online suppliers are treated with pesticides, including neonicotinoid insecticides, so always ask before you buy.
A few suppliers offer organically certified plants and there is an increasing range of organic seed available. When creating the Blooms for Bees border at Ryton Organic Gardens, we were able to obtain a good range of organically certified plants from Caves Folly Nurseries and Bee Happy Plants as well as organic seeds from The Organic Gardening Catalogue.
Find organically certified plant and seed suppliers
Use our list of organic plant suppliers, certified by the Soil Association and ask local plant nurseries whether they treat their plants with pesticides – a growing number are choosing to grow to organic standards, although they may not be certified or advertise as such.