How to Make Biological Pest Control Work for Your Home

You know the old saying about fighting fire with fire? That's what biological pest control is all about: using beneficial predators and parasites to get rid of all the pests you don't want on your property.

All around the world, poisonous chemicals and aggressive, unnatural landscaping practices are pummeling insect populations. These losses have immense ripple effects, as insects are a crucial part of the food chain for many larger creatures, like birds, and play vital roles supporting plants of all kinds, both on farms and in the wild.

Instead of becoming part of the problem by using toxic products to protect your property, consider reaching for more organic alternatives. Here's an introduction to biological pest control, and how to make it work for your home and garden.

Bugs

Do you have a problem with insects like aphids, mites, and caterpillars? Adding ladybugs to your property is a great natural way to get rid of these pests. Ladybugs are often regarded as "desirable" bugs because of their pretty coloring. They also hibernate through the winter, which means that several generations of ladybugs can live and thrive in your landscape and garden areas. Ladybugs feed on mites, aphids and other little bugs that can cause extensive damage to a variety of plants if they’re left unchecked.

A dragonfly stands on a leaf

If you get mosquitoes in the summer, consider recruiting some dragonflies to naturally chase them away. Bug zappers can be unappealing and ineffective, plus they cost money to run. Dragonflies seek out and eat mosquito larvae and adult mosquitoes, making them perfect allies in the quest for a peaceful, itch-free evening. Dragonflies are also considered beautiful because of their many wings and elegant natural shape (like butterflies, they are a frequent design element of jewelry). With over 300 million years of history, they also happen to be among the oldest creatures on the planet, so they've had a lot of time to hone their hunting skills. Between the two, dragonflies are definitely far more desirable to have around your home than mosquitoes.

Plants

Certain plants keep pests away naturally, and all you have to do is place them around areas you want to protect. Plant basil to keep mosquitoes and flies away. Mint can keep ants and white cabbage moths from devouring your plants. Flying insects, squash bugs, ants and several types of beetles are naturally repelled by tansy. Wormwood will even help keep larger animals away from your garden and landscape areas.

Plants can be used inside the home to control pest populations, too. Get some planters and put mint and basil in the kitchen. This will both ward off insects and give you access to fresh herbs when you’re cooking.

A healthy basil plant from above

Fungus

Many fungi cause disease and death in small pests like aphids. Beauveria bassiana, for example, will kill weevils, aphids, whiteflies, and thrips. This fungus is actually widely-produced and available at many garden stores as a natural pest remedy. Use Metarhizium fungus to control many types of beetles and grasshoppers, as well as spider mites. Fungi don’t always spring to mind when you think of what you want to add to your garden, but they can be a very practical biological pest control solution.

Biological Pest Control

Use biological pest control to naturally drive pests and predators away from your home, garden, and landscaping. You don’t have to resort to chemicals, zappers, or any of those other environmentally harmful tricks. Fight fire with fire by using insects to fight insects, and keep only the bugs you like in your home and yard to create the environment you want.