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My list of pest predators/beneficial animals - anyone can add to it?

Posts: 55
Location: West London, UK
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Morning everyone,

As I am planning to use no pesticide/herbicides whilst growing my grob, I am planning to use some of natures organisms to help do the job of controlling pest numbers (in addition to other methods).

I have made a list of some beneficial organisms and I will do some research on how best I can attract them to my patch.

If I have missed any please add it onto the thread!

- Bees: social & solitary
- Wasps: social & solitary e.g. parisitoid wasps (good predators)
- Ladybird beetle
- Lacewings
- Dragonflies/damselflies

- Robin
- Blackbird
- Sparrows (seen all of these species hunting on the ground and amongst plants)

- Frogs & Newts

- Hedgehogs

Soil Micro-organisms
- Predatory fungi

Many thanks,

Posts: 340
Location: West Midlands UK (zone 8b) Rainfall 26"
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You can add slow-worms - if you are very lucky! - which will eat slugs.

My son and I observed how the robin likes to perch on the spade handle to check for danger before he jumps down to forage for insects. So we made some robin perches and put them round the plot. Haven't seen him using any yet, but I'm sure the neighbours are scratching their heads!
Posts: 1444
Location: Fennville MI
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Martin Crawford has good information on beneficial insects and plants that attract them in his book on forest gardens.

Do not forget snakes that can help with slugs. Trying to list all the helpful critters is much harder than listing beneficial plants that provide habitat.

Bats are another helpful predator, eating myriad moths and mosquitoes.
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I'm a big fan of praying mantids. We always have quite a few of their eggs cases over the winter here. Seeing them hatch is neat.

Swallows are big bug eaters here.
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Since your location is listed as the UK, I cannot be specific.
Native wildflowers are a great way to attract both the pollinators and the predators to your site.
A good mix usually has both annuals and perennials. Early/mid/late bloomers.
This keeps the critters around for the entire growing season, as well as providing abundant 'eye candy' for you.
Perhaps somebody like http://wildflower.co.uk/ has regional mixtures available.

Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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I encourage all birds, and my garden is full of tall, slender bamboo 'perches'.
Thrushes are one of the few critters round here that will go for snails: make sure there's plenty of 'snail anvils' around the garden
Did I miss worms on your list?
Composters like centipedes, woodlice and springtails.
Flies-not houseflies and their maggoty ilk, but hover, drone, bee flies etc who do a great job pollinating around here.
Butterflies. They don't do an awful lot, but they're lovely to have around, and there's not all that many opportunities to insert words like 'metamorphosis' into conversations with kids!

Posts: 113
Location: Western MA, zone 6b
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Hoverflies and Long-legged flies are good to see as well.    Field crickets are a mixed blessing, they do good work helping the compost cycle and controlling weed seeds, but can be pests on small seedling plants.
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