Ecological Control for Italian Gardens

Ecological solutions For Your Italian Garden

ladybug eating plants  ladybug larvae
Above: Ladybug eats aphids                            Above: Ladybug larvae eats even more

Often a garden full of insects and brimming with natural life can seem somehow out of control and, to some, even full of potential garden pests. However a garden that is able to find a harmony with its surrounding landscape is more likely to find a positive balance between garden pests and their natural garden predator. There are many garden pests from aphids (greenfly) to caterpillars and larvae and like anything else in nature each one has it's own natural predator...

Ichneumons wasp eats caterpillars     Ichneumons wasp eats caterpillars
Above: The Ichneumons wasp is a voracious hunter of caterpillars.

In nature there are many battles taking place simultaneously, there are ants protecting, moving and milking aphids for a payment of the sugary honey-dew, produced from their rear-end.

ants protect aphids in exchange for honeydew   ants aphids honeydew
Above: Ants protecting their flocks of aphids           Above: Ant receiving honeydew payment

There are many fly and beetle larvae feeding upon and aphids, caterpillars and other pests. By far the most famous of these hunters is the ladybird but there are many others, such as the simple hoverfly, whose larva is also a voracious hunter of aphids...

fly up close   hoverfly eats aphid
Above: Hoverfly in flight.                         Above: Hoverfly larvae eats aphid

Then there are the rarer, more complex natural predators, such as the lacewing and its larvae, who both feast on aphids. The adult lacewing is even able to sense the sonar of passing bats, such is it's precision as a hunter...

lacewing macro   lacewing macro
Above and right: Adult lacewing and its larvae.

There are many mechanisms operating in nature and its aim is always to find a balance between hunter and hunted and only when this balance is achieved in a garden can we hope to achieve a natural, balanced beauty. Many of these hunters can now be bought, even online, and buying them clearly makes more sense than simply spraying away all these wonderful natural mechanisms with powerful pesticides... indiscriminately!

bat   lacewing senses bat sonar
Above: A pipistrell bat and a lacewing that closes it's wings and falls when it senses the sonar of a bat.

By Jonathan Radford


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