Do you know about IPM...
This might seem like a geeky question, however, I think it may be time for me to start down this track with all you good guys :)
Naturally Neem (N/N) products are designed to work alongside IPM; beneficial insects do not attack plants, therefore will not consume enough N/N by eating the pest insects, the pest insect will not build a resistance to N/N due to the multiple modes of action.
Promoting less chemical use is my main aim, and I hope it is yours also. Whilst still being able to harvest a decent crop of your tended produce - wild harvesting is also a great nutritional way to monitor your garden and make use of the neighborhood's free spaces.
IPM (Integrated Pest Management) - Combines biological (natural predators and parasites), chemical (selective insecticides), and cultural controls in a compatible way. Pest management decisions are based on pest: predator ratios which are monitored throughout the growing season. This approach to pest control aims to maximize the use of beneficial insects whilst minimizing unnecessary insecticide use.
If you want some great info on a myriad of pests and beneficial insects in your IPM system in your garden, (Yep you have one if you like it or not) here is an industrial Hemp growing symposium/doco on the real story, and yes, it is basically the same for Aotearoa. https://youtu.be/euIetMpvJYk (Yep it is a long video, but you can skip/drag curser through and save it for your reference, so you can ID and start to introduce and promote beneficial insects and practices) By the way Hemp attracts basically all the pests that we typically get in our growing environment in NZ, and this video seems to be the best identification of pest and beneficial insects around.
Integrated Pest Management
Naturally occurring predators, like the fella above prey on pest insects;
Weed management to promote beneficial insects, the good weeds;
Cultural integration where your garden design and practices influence;
And if you want help to get the good guys on board https://www.bioforce.co.nz/shop.html
Just remember the beneficial insects need food, so once the pest host is exhausted your beneficial insect will need an environment to live, otherwise, they die out.
Plant a swale or integrate wildflowers around your environment, here is an easy option https://www.kingsseeds.co.nz/shop/Field+Selection++Wildflowers/Beneficial+Insect+Blend-4200.html
Monitoring your garden pests, when they appear and what they live on;
Here is one good way to do that, by hanging these biodegradable sticky straps, they will also collect all the fungus gnats in your soil, cool hey!
Remember it is all about balance, destroying some beneficial insects, in the process to find out what is your main pest, not bees of course, and introducing the plants that attract the beneficial predator insects for those problem pests is well worth it!
Kind regards, Bonny Faulkner-Hollis
Nature Haven Ltd
www.NaturallyNeem.co.nz 'Kind on us, Kind on the Environment.'
Published in 'the Edible Backyard' Kath Irvine & 'Garden Pest and Disease Control' Bill Brett
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed”. Mahatma Gandhi