Controlling Pests Without Harming Butterflies in a Garden in Southwest Florida

Birds are a great way to naturally control pests in your garden. Place a birdbath with fresh water and a bird feeder nearby to attract critter-feeding birds. Keep the feeder full of seeds from late fall to early spring, and the birds will make your garden their refuge. Guinea fowls can also be used to eat ticks, hornworms, and Japanese beetles without damaging plants or vegetables. Beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings, and their larvae can help you fight against aphids.

To attract them, use tactics like planting milkweed and keeping the area clean. However, beneficial insects can also eat monarch eggs, so observe and inspect milkweed frequently to save eggs and baby caterpillars from potential harm. If the eggs and caterpillars stay “in the wild”, only 10% will hatch and become butterflies. Natural repellents like ground cloves or rosemary can also be used to scare away bean beetles, cabbage moths, and carrot flies. To prevent larger pests like cats or dogs from entering flower beds or gardens, place lots of plastic toothpicks or forks on the ground between the seedbeds and surrounding young, tender plants.

Sprinkle dried blood meal on the ground between rows of vegetables in the garden every week or 10 days to scare away deer.

Alexander Renaud
Alexander Renaud

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