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Beneficial Predators

  • Bats are active in spring, summer, and autumn evenings, feeding on midges, craneflies, moths and aphids. At these times of the year they roost in warm, dry hollows in trees and in crevices in buildings. They hibernate during winter. To encourage bats, insects can be attracted by establishing a meadow. Flowers that release nectar in the evening are especially valuable, such as Evening Primrose Oenothera spp. Bat boxes located in a sheltered position that provides morning sun and afternoon shade, can invite them to be "on-site", ready to eat your midges. Bat boxes are usually made from exterior grade plywood for insulation and an entrance slot in the bottom with grooves in the back to make access easier.
  • Birds will nearly all eat insects, especially during the breeding season. This includes a wide variety of pests. Others take slugs and snails (e.g. Song Thrush), leatherjackets (Starling), and caterpillars and aphids (e.g. Blue and Great Tits). As a bonus, bird song is one of the delights of life. To encourage birds to remain in your garden, provide the four basic necessities of food, water, shelter, and breeding sites: Plants that provide natural foods of seeds and berries supplemented should be with energy-rich bird table food. Regularity of feeding is vital as birds have a very high metabolic rate so must have a continuous food supply. Water is required for drinking and bathing. Trees, shrubs and climbing plants provide shelter and nest sites, boosted by the placing of artificial nest boxes.
  • Centipedes are active all year round. They feed on slugs, snails and insects, and live in good quality soil and under stones and logs.
  • Earwigs are active all year round. Although they damage flowers, they do feed on caterpillars, aphids, insects and moth eggs. They can be found resting during the day in narrow crevices.
  • Frogs, Toads, & Newts spawn in spring but hibernate through the coldest months. They feed on slugs, snails, worms, and insects. A small pond with shallow edges and sloping sides with overhanging vegetation will encourage them to breed. Adults overwinter in damp, hidden places under stones and logs. Place some near to the pond if possible.
  • Ground & Rove Beetles are active all year round. They feed on adult slugs and their eggs, the larvae of cabbage & carrot root flies and lettuce-root aphids. They thrive in moist, shady areas. To encourage them, leave soil, stones and logs undisturbed.
  • Hedgehogs are active from mid-spring to mid-autumn, feeding on slugs, millipedes, cockchafers, earthworms and caterpillars. They hide in long grass and hedges during the day and hibernate during the winter months. To encourage them to enter or even live in your garden, leave one area slightly provide a hedgehog nest box. To make it habitable, part fill the nest chamber with dried leaves making sure the breathing vent is not blocked. Tuck the box away into a secluded corner and cover with soil, then leave the hedgehog to find it. When the house is occupied (May to September in particular) do not disturb the box. If disturbed, the hedgehog is unlikely to return and may desert the young. Do not add hay or straw as this may cause injuries. Hedgehog  food (not bread and milk) contains dried meat, insects, berries, nuts, fruits, cereals and honey and should be served with a dish of fresh water.
  • Lacewings and Hoverflies are active from late spring to mid-summer. They feed on aphids, larvae, mites, leaf hoppers, scale insects and caterpillars. To encourage them, overwinter survival can be boosted by erecting hibernation boxes . A Lacewing box can increase survival rates from 5% to 95% helping to ensure your garden remains aphid free. Site facing east for an excellent hibernation aid. Lacewing and Ladyird larvae can provide good natural control.
  • Ladybirds are attractive insects to have around the garden and, as natural predators of aphids, are extremely beneficial too. A ladybird house, accompanied by general planting to attract beneficial insects, will encourage ladybirds to remain in your garden. It provides them with a safe roosting place during cold and frosty nights in early spring, and a safe place in which to hibernate in winter. Ladybird food sources include Vetches, Thistles, Hibiscus, Passiflora and Buddleia.

  • Natural Predators are available to purchase for the control of Vine Weevil, Whitefly, Slugs, Spider Mite, Sciarid or Fungus Fly, Greenfly, Chafer Grub, Caterpillar, Scale Insect and Mealy Bug.
  • Spiders are garden friends and extremely sensitive to pesticides. Provide a spider friendly habitat with water and bundles of hollow stems for them to nest in.

  • Worms. In acid soils, unless growing acid lovers, apply lime every 4 years to keep the soil sweet & encourage worms essential for soil drainage, aeration & material recycling. Calcified seaweed, Fish, blood & bone, Hoof & horn lightly forked into soil. Mulch with well rotted compost.

Nemasys Slug Killer

Available in two pack sizes, to treat 40 square metres or 100 sq metres. Provides control for up to 6 weeks. APPLY BETWEEN MARCH AND OCTOBER. Available to purchase here.

Nemasys Leatherjacket Killer

Each pack contains 50 million steinernema feltiae nematodes, which will treat up to 100 sq metres. Also available in a larger 500 sq m pack. APPLY BETWEEN LATE AUGUST AND OCTOBER. Available to purchase here.

Nemasys Caterpillar Killer

Each set contains 3 packs of 20 million naturally occurring beneficial nematodes (Steinernema carpocapse).Each tray treats up to 20 trees for codling moth or 40 square metres of plants for caterpillar. USE BETWEEN JULY AND OCTOBER. Available to purchase here.

Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer

Vine Weevil Killer small includes one unit of 6 million nematodes and treats up to 160 pots or 12 sq metres. Vine Weevil Killer large contains 50 million nematodes. Treats up to 100 sq metres. APPLY BETWEEN MARCH AND NOVEMBER. Available to purchase here.

Nemasys Chafer Grub Killer

Chafer Grub Killer contains 50 million nematodes and treats up to 100 sq metres. Also available in a larger, 500 sq m pack. APPLY BETWEEN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER. Available to purchase here.