Good Bugs for the Vegetable Garden

Did you know that there are good bugs we need to survive?

Good Bugs for the Vegetable Garden


I raise this as many gardeners reach for chemical poisons to deal with insect and pest invasions. They do this without thinking these poisons also affect the good bugs!

This was demonstrated following the decision by the Big Green shed, and other stores, to cease selling some systemic insecticides. These insecticides include Confidor and Bug Killa. Many gardeners queried the decision. As a result they wanted to know what would be provided as an alternative!

The reason that poisons like Confidor and Bug Killa are no longer being sold was precisely due to their impact on good bugs.

These insecticides contain a class of poison know as neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids have been strongly implicated in the death of bees. And in aiding the collapse of bee hives in Europe and the UK.

The ban also applies to other products such as Conguard and Lawn bug killer, which also contain neonicotinoids. Surprisingly, Advantage/Advocate, used to kill for tick protection on your pets also contain neonicotinoids!

So what are good bugs and why do we need them?

Good Bugs for the Vegetable Garden

Bee pollinating

Good bugs include a range of insects that actually benefit plants and therefore we humans also benefit!

Good bugs include bees and other beneficial insects, including dragonflies and hoverflies. They help us because they pollinate flowers, which produces fruits and vegetables.

They also help by killing and controlling some of the bad bugs that infect our plants. Without good bugs, we would have no food!

The problem with random use, and overuse of insecticides is that there is a knock-on effect.

These insecticides also poison frogs, lizards and skinks, and even birds which feed on the poisoned insects.

Speaking about alternatives!

When you speak to gardeners about alternatives, like letting nature do the work with good bugs, you often get a blank stare. If you are lucky you will get questions like “There are good insects?”. Or “How long will that take?”.

Try and get the gardeners to explain what the actual problem is that they have been using the pesticide to treat, often it has been a case of mis-diagnosis! People have been spraying neonicotinoids to deal with fungal diseases and even with things that show that a plant is healthy!

We have been trained to want a quick fix, without understanding what it is that we are fixing! Results with a simple spray of a poison!

But do people realise that they are potentially poisoning themselves and their families?

The manufacturers and suppliers maintain that when these poisons are used correctly there are minimal adverse impacts.

However, they have no control over how the general public use these chemicals!

I have been told about gardeners who sprayed neonicotinoid poisons every weekend as a prevention against insect attack!! Sadly they could not understand that they were also preventing their crops from being pollinated!

I hope the insect world has enough intelligence to declare these gardens a “No fly zone”.

Let us know what you think about the use of insecticides like neonicotinoids and the decision to cease selling these products.

Happy gardening

Rohanne, Your Personal Garden Expert

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