There are creepy crawlies we like and creepy crawlies we don’t like, but all are actually necessary in your garden. Nature is a food chain, so you need the stuff at the bottom to provide lunch for the creatures higher up! If you wipe out a ‘link’ in the chain with chemicals or insecticides it really annoys those creatures higher up the food chain – so they disappear from your garden to find food elsewhere.
Why is that a problem you may ask – well the bugs that chomp your beloved plants are at the bottom of the food chain, which means they get eaten – a lot. So to compensate for getting eaten quickly they reproduce even more quickly. Now if all your ‘good bugs’ have gone elsewhere – whose to stop the bad bugs breeding out of control!
You need some bad bugs, just not too many, so what to do?
Encourage good bugs and animals, so have lots of insect friendly flowers (these have open petals so nectar and pollen is easy to get to) Don’t spray loads of chemicals or insecticides!
Put up bird boxes and bat boxes, make insect hotels, hedgehog hotels (and little holes in the fence so they can go next door ), have a compost heap and somewhere a little less ‘tidy’. Also if you can have a little pond or a pond in a pot.
But if you do get ‘bugged’ – I do spray with an organic insecticide occasionally and sparingly, mainly I squish aphids, squash weevils and lily beetles and toss snails onto the middle of the lawn for the blackbirds to find. Slugs do die if caught eating my lettuces, I don’t use slug pellets though as these poison the animals that eat the slugs which I don’t want to do. So I’m afraid slugs are dispatched via a boot or a my secateurs (sorry if you’re squeamish – but it’s quick) and then they’re left for the birds to eat!
So all the creatures shown on this page, either chew holes in, devour completely or weaken the plant leaving it susceptible to disease, but by encouraging the good guys, I don’t have too much trouble with those shown below.