The beneficial animals and pests are the gardener Freud, but also his suffering. Therefore, unloved insects and small animals can cause great damage, even the death of a plant. But the opposite is also possible. Unexpectedly appearing out of nowhere, little rescuers in distress, lead the entire aphid colony to disappear unexpectedly almost completely.
Why, then, no longer rely on the natural “antagonists” of pest insects that are excessively annoying and encourage beneficial insects in the garden or on the balcony? This article describes how to identify the benefits and pests in your garden and balcony, and what you can do to help beneficial organisms.
What is meant by pests?
Pests are insects that nibble on the plants and flowers of our balcony, suck, eat whole leaves and even plants, or cause great damage to the roots.
One of the most famous pests in our latitudes are probably the larvae and the aphid. The worms eat at the roots, aphids prefer to chop especially young tender leaves and flower buds and suck the juice of the plant. If the larvae or aphids are very strongly represented in a plant, this can lead to the plant, where it is affected, atrophied and is no longer expelled, or even attacked completely by the larva infestation.
What are the benefits in the garden?
The benefits are the exact opposite of pests. Charities are the natural enemies of pests. They support the plant in its healthy growth by eating or parasitizing natural enemies. By parasitizing it is understood that beneficial organisms, for example, lay their own eggs in the offspring of pests and then eat “from within.”
One of the best known benefits for eating aphids is the ladybug. But also the parasitic wasp or nematodes (ferrets) are important benefits. Nematodes are mainly used in ornamental plants in cases of intense infestation of weevil larvae. They parasitize the larvae and prevent the development of the weevil beetle, which feeds preferentially to the leaves of rhododendrons or roses.
Why is there any plague?
Pests, or simply eating and sucking insects, have always existed in nature. If a species of insect goes too far, it is possible that the natural enemy is missing, the location is not optimal and, therefore, the plant weakens. It may also be that the plant is not well fed, or that current climatic / climatic conditions allow an excess insect to be produced.
But there are also plants that are prone to an insect. Or an insect prefers only one plant and everything around it is not affected, such as nasturtium. So, if you plant nasturtium on a plant that likes to be attacked by lice, it usually only attacks the nasturtium, but not the plant that is worth protecting.
By the way, the term pest originated from the fact that insect species are generally present in large quantities in the plant and, therefore, only cause damage.
What can I do against pests?
Of course, I can go to the nearest garden center and spray myself against the plague, but is that always the right thing? Are there no other possibilities? Although many of the aerosols today are very environmentally friendly and beneficial for conservation, the use of a pesticide should always be considered well.
Sometimes it is enough to eliminate the plague from the affected leaf or spray the plant with a strong water jet. Especially aphids, but also caterpillars, can be removed very efficiently.
My experience, especially with aphids, is that if I wait long enough, suddenly the ladybird larva is found as a beneficial insect in the plant. Ladybird larvae can decimate an aphid considerably in a few days, if they do not disappear completely. It goes without saying that the most natural garden or balcony with an intact ecosystem helps a lot here. Even some specific measures for the promotion of benefits can compensate here.
The 3 most common pests and their beneficiaries.
Unfortunately, there are countless insects who like to nibble on our plants. Sometimes they are pests, but sometimes they are beneficial. If that bothers us it is very individual and is not the same for everyone. Some feel only a louse on a rose as disgusting. Others do not care at all and simply accept an infestation of the plant if the plant is not damaged. These are some of the most important pests:
Aphids and their “milking”
Aphids like to appear on tips of young shoots, shoots and on the underside of the leaves. Often, a stream of smooth but powerful water is enough to remove it. If the ants have already gathered in the still young aphid colony, rapid action is required. Sometimes you can’t help doing something with the ants themselves.
When milking, aphids excrete the so-called molasses, which is very popular among ants. Ants’ gratitude for this coveted “formic juice” is that they distribute young descendants of aphids throughout the plant and the plant is very quickly and severely affected by aphids.
From the caterpillar to the butterfly
Caterpillars are very voracious and can cause considerable damage to young leaves and buds, as well as to adult plants. The good news: they are usually easy to find and read quickly by hand. The moth and the caterpillar of the white cabbage butterfly are not entirely pleasant to be seen in the garden of the house, because, as the name implies, it leaves its fruity traces mainly in the cabbage species. And yet, you should not forget that the most beautiful butterflies can develop from the simplest caterpillars.
Like a dove’s tail like a caterpillar is like carrot or fennel herb. As beautiful as the butterfly is, so remarkable and unmistakable is the caterpillar and the damage caused by fennel or carrots. Just plant some more seedlings and enjoy the beautiful caterpillar. The newborn swallowtail butterfly will thank you.
Edible snails and the hedgehog
Newly planted in the garden bed and not sufficiently protected from snails, seedlings are quickly victims of snails. Whore guys can kill everything in one night. Therefore, all young plants and planting in the garden bed, but also in containers near the ground of the snails necessarily protect. Be sure to buy, be sure to buy igelschonende Schneckenkörner. The hedgehog also likes plaster snails and we don’t want it damaged.
A gentle way to control snails is a physical barrier such as the snail fence. But do not forget at the beginning of the gardening season, eradicate the snails inside the worm fence. A very efficient way to successfully fight snails is to read them when twilight arrives. It is not for everyone, but it is very effective in the long term. Recently, there are also copper wire barriers in commerce. They are very successful because snails do not love copper surfaces at all.
The 4 best known benefits
Ladybugs and their larvae
If you do not want to bring the first appearance of aphids to a pesticide, the same applies to pesticides of natural substances! – It often happens that after some time the ladybird appears and with it a little later the ladybird larvae also appear. This may take some time, but it is a very efficient way to successfully decimate the aphid population.
Ladybird larvae are very active aphid spoilers, but unfortunately, very few recognize them. They devour about 400 brochures during their 20-day development period. The fully developed beetle consumes an average of 40 to 60 aphids per day. Someone has to imitate it first!
It would look pretty scary, especially under a microscope: the earwig. He is also a great aphids hunter, although sometimes he also feeds on young shoots and dead parts of plants. The damage, however, is very small in relation to its use.
The earwig is nocturnal and seeks refuge during the day, where it feels comfortable and protected. This can be a wet crack in the wall, under a floor or under the leaves. What has been very successful are the “nesting bells” made of pots (see photo above), which are full of wood wool and, vice versa, hung in the treetops.
Flying flies are beneficial
At first glance, you think you have a representative of the sharp wasp of the wasps in front of you, when a lace wing sits in your hand. When you look more closely, you quickly realize that it is a harmless fly. The vivacious and typically black and yellow wasp drawing only serves as camouflage to deter enemies. The technical term for this is called Mimikry.
The characteristic of the hover is the “permanent flight” in the air. He is not afraid of contact and explores with curiosity, sometimes almost blatantly, his surroundings. It is a very valuable beneficial insect that contributes a lot to an intact cycle of nature.
Field wasps and hornets
Who would have thought that! Wasps and hornets are carnivorous hunters and help maintain the balance of nature. Of course, it is not always very pleasant when there are wasps or wasps in the vicinity. But with a little distance and knowledge of their habits, humans and animals can live well side by side.
In my house, a hornet has always turned in the afternoon a round in the garden. After several stops at different flowers and plants, she disappeared again and again.
This afternoon, the hornet’s flight in my garden took place every night. Over time, I knew the buzz and I kept quiet. As long as field wasps and hornets are left alone and do not gesticulate wildly, they are very peaceful. But be careful: many people are allergic to wasps and wasp stings. In this case, keep enough distance.
Enjoy the experiment “More nature in the garden” and you will be surprised how quickly nature recovers lost space and turns your garden and balcony into a small paradise.