Predator insects can do our pest control work for us by controlling the numbers of pest insects in our VEG bed. Therefore, the more predators that we can attract to our VEG beds, the less pest problems we will have. And it’s so easy…
Flowers to attract predators
Biodiversity is the key to organic pest control. Most predators like flowers that are high in pollen and nectar, and with short pollen tubes. For many predators, the more nectar and pollen they eat, the more eggs they will lay.
The daisy family (asteraceae) and parsley family (apiaceae/umberlliferaceae) provide nectar and pollen for predatory insects. These flowers contain high protein and high sugar foods which are accessible via shallow pollen tubes. There are also some great wild flowers and ornamental flowers that are great for predator attraction. We should aim to have at least one flowering predator attracting plant in or near our vegetable patch at all times of year. The following table will be useful in making this possible.
|Name||When it flowers|
|· Queen Anne’s Lace|
|· See http://australian-insects.com/lepidoptera/plants/aste/asteraceae.html|
|· Shasta daisy (Chrysanthemum maximum)|
|· Calendula – Marigold|
|· Queen’s Anne Lace|
|· Convovulus tricolor|
|· Californian poppy|
|· Golden rod (Solidago spp.)|
|· Echium (but they’re big)|