Saturday, February 27, 2010

Edible Balcony - Bugs arrive in the mail

My battles with aphids, mealy bugs and caterpillars have been well-documented on this blog. It often feels as though I'm growing more bugs on my balcony than plants. And pest management without pesticides and chemicals can seem like an impossible task.
But there is help at hand.

I found a company in Queensland 'Bugs For Bugs' that breeds natural predators that only attack bad bugs not your plants. After a short phone consultation with a specialist I decided on purchasing 40 native Australian lady bugs (crytolaemus) which eat mealy bugs and 100 lacewing eggs (lacewings eat aphids, mealy bugs, caterpillar larvae) - all for about $40.00.
They arrived in little plastic cups filled with enough pollen and honey to keep them well-fed during their trip

The lacewing larvae needs to be put in or near the area of infestation so when they hatch they have an immediate food source.

I put them on the chili plant and in the eggplants.

The native lady bugs were parachuted into the watercress and tatsoi which have been battling hoards of aphids.

You sic 'em Rex!

It's a good idea to cover the bugs with some light muslin cloth on the first day. This encourages them to stay and find the food source.
You don't want your pest controllers flying off before they get to work!


  1. Wow. What a brilliant idea! Looking forward to reading more about your experiences with this... it is certainly something I'd give a go.

  2. What a great idea,
    and you have pretty little lady bugs to look at as well :P
    So much better than gross pesticides.

  3. thank gawd for your blog Indira...i've learned so much from you. Harriet the Jalapeno bush is infested with aphids and i can't use white oil because it's still too hot here.

    I'll be following your lead & buying some ladybird bugs to try and save the nearly metre high bush!

  4. Hmmm. I am reminded of one of my favourite childhood picture story books, The King, The Mice and The Cheese.

  5. Great blog Indira, and some handy tips too!! Radmila