Has anyone ever used organic pest control?
For example this product https://www.bunnings.com.au/eco-organic-garden-backyard-buddies-eco-gracey-lacewing-eggs_p2960994
My friend and I were hoping someone could shed some light on the pro's and con's of using these products, if they are effective and worth investing in?
Any advice or information would help!
Organic pest control is a great alternative to using chemicals in your garden and, in most situations, it's highly effective.
The product range you've mentioned uses predator insects to eradicate pest insects like aphids, thrips, whitefly, mites and other chewing and sap-sucking insects - different predators for different pests..
Starting your venture into natural pest control with products like Backyard Buddies is a serious and potentially expensive step! You might like to try the organic Eco-Oil or Eco-Neem first to see how well this type of pest control works in your garden.
For Backyard Buddies to be really successful your pest insects need to be present in plague numbers, so your 'buddies' not only survive but thrive and go on to produce future generations of pest munchers! An average sized home garden may not have the numbers. But if you have a large productive garden and home orchard, then it would be the next step to take after trialling the Eco sprays.
Something else to think about - if your neighbours are using conventional insecticides in their gardens, then your introduced buddies could be wiped out too. It would be really good if you could work in with your surrounding neighbours so you're all using organic pest control!
Hi @kaylah_rose, apologies for missing your post as it's a topic I find very interesting & worth exploring in some detail.
The language around organic pest control and other organic products can get a wee bit confusing so I’ll clarify a few points.
Organic pest control products are any that have been certified as suitable for use in organic gardens, organic farming or organic food/crop production.
This generally means the product is not derived from synthetic (i.e. – manmade) chemicals.
So for example EcoOrganic EcoOil uses plant oils not mineral (petroleum-based) oils. It is then fortified with a natural pheromone attractant to attract beneficial predatory insects that will eat or otherwise attack plant pests.
A product can claim to be ‘organic’ without being organically certified and technically anything with material derived from a plant or animal source can claim to be organic as it’s organically derived.
Horticulturists will often talk about ‘adding organic matter to the soil’ but they are not generally talking organically certified product, just about cow manure or compost etc.
So… you need to look for Australian organic certification.
There are two main bodies in Australian that issue credible certification – Australian Certified Organic (ACO) and NASAA Certified Organic.
These are Government approved certifying bodies. There are a few others too but they are more specialised.
The product you referenced is an organic biological control – insects to kill insects – often referred to under the broad heading of beneficial insects but more correctly predatory beneficial insects.
Lacewings are excellent predatory insects that will feed on a whole range of insect pests. They can be extremely effective however you need enough, or repeat releases, to tackle a major pest outbreak.
Just as a digression… have you ever seen tiny little eggs laid on the end of long hairs in clusters in all sorts of odd places? (see photo) They are lacewing eggs. They are laid on those hairs because the hatchlings have such voracious appetites they would eat each other if not separated…
Anyhews… moving on from insectivorous infanticide cannibalism…
A garden kept in good biological and ecological balance through sustainable and organic gardening practices, including reduction in ‘traditional’ pesticide use, will have less problems with pests as;
a) – the plants are better able to resist insect attack and
b) – there will naturally be a better population of beneficial predatory insects.
Organic pest control methods can be extremely effective however it will mean adopting different approaches and techniques to what you are used to. Transitioning to organic gardening in general is a very worthwhile & rewarding process.
So short answer… yes, bugs are awesome! But you won’t get the drop-dead-instantly impact of using a spray.
For a serious infestation maybe use a certified organic spray first and then a week after spraying release some beneficials.