Large infestations of pests in the garden often indicate that your local ecosystem is out of balance in some way. For instance, if you are having trouble with aphids it is likely that you dont have a strong enough lacewing and ladybeetle population as these insect types naturally prey on aphids. Â An interesting solution iâve found is to plant sunflowers near the plants in aphid trouble. Sunflowers attract ladybeetles and ants, which farm aphids for their sweet excrement âhoneydewâ, and will actually herd aphids from other plants onto the sunflowers for the production of sweeter honeydew.
Australian lacewings are attracted to flowering eucalypts and other native vegetation, many of which require natives for the completion of their breeding cycle. Interestingly, the larvae of lacewings are what people call ant-lions which create small pit traps above them in the soil to guide wandering ants into their gaping jaws. By establishing some native habitat to support the whole lacewing lifecycle you can utilise the aphid and ant predation to benefit the rest of your garden.
There are a large number of predatory insects that occur naturally in Australia in addition to the aforementioned, such as various wasps, dragonflies, damselflies, spiders, soldier fly and preying mantis. Most of these will be attracted best by native plants of your local area and the establishment of a well vegetated pond.
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