Biological Pest Control The Pros and Cons

Biological controls work best when it is warm and activity is highest. The more pests the more there is for the control to eat and treat.

pestcontrol

Biological controls are pest predators that can be bought mail order. Once introduced to the greenhouse or garden they can naturally take care of the relevant pest, enabling you to garden organically and free of pests. If you are considering using Biological pest control, these are the pros and cons

Advantages of Biological Control

  • They are totally organic and provide a natural solution to your pests.
  • They can be effective for upto two months.
  • Some biological control you don’t have to buy mail order. E.g. planting marigolds may encourage hoverfly and they will eat aphids.
  • Using Biological control means you won’t kill the natural predators like Thrushes for slugs, and ladybirds for aphids.
  • They don’t create an eyesore like slug pellets do.
  • Saves you having to kill pests, if you are squeamish at going round your lettuce leaves cutting slugs in half.
  • Some insects may develop resistance to domestic sprays.

Disadvantages of Biological Control

  • Most biological products are not cheap.
  • They need suitable conditions, such as a good degree of warmth and for slug nematodes – water.
  • They can be time consuming to mix and implement, but, then so can spraying the garden.
  • Once you use biological control, you can’t resort to conventional spraying with chemicals as this will kill the predators.
  • You may need to buy several different biological controls for different predators.
  • They can take a while to arrive and do there work. For some problems like Red Spider Mite and aphids this may be too late.

For the organic gardener not worried about cost, biological control is really excellent. They can be very effective in restoring the natural balance and preventing pests getting out of control. They are also excellent for those gardeners wishing to encourage natural predators like Ladybirds and hoverflies. In a way this makes for a more satisfying garden because you are not resorting to chemicals.

However, they do have there drawbacks, most notably they are more expensive than conventional treatments.

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6 Responses to Biological Pest Control The Pros and Cons

  1. Olivier April 26, 2010 at 16.03 #

    Nice post, we were having this debate over our cucumber plants.

    Good list for both sides so well thought out…

    We opted in, rather than spraying around. So far, so good!

    Thanks

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