Nature’s Pest Controllers

Nature has quietly converted me to the organic style of gardening. I have adopted the principle that -

Unless something's eating your garden, you're not part of the ecosystem.

So it goes with the territory that I expect to lose a small percentage of each crop to the constant pest-battle. It's all about maintaining a balance so we can all live happily ever after.

Marigolds are great for managing namatodes under the soil, while the Dwarf Green Tree Frog manages the pests above

Being a lover of native birds and habitats, I am learning to cooperate with the surrounding environment to ensure these beauties keep on choosing to visit my patch. Fortunately, my citrus hedge, bay tree, compost bins, star jasmine and other thick perpetual foliage provides plenty of variety and quick get-away hiding spots at any time for birds. Our water bath is frequented by many critters - multiple bird varieties and insects of all kinds.

A Silvereye takes a bath while the Red Browed Finches and Scarlet Honeyeater wait their turns

My garden's best friends include a pair of White-browed Scrub Wrens and a family of very active and hungry Superb Fairy Wrens. These little machines busily hop through my garden beds every day to eat caterpillars and bugs. Last year the Fairy Wrens bred a little family in their perfect nest in our hedge resulting in the hedge not being trimmed until well overgrown and no longer a hosted this precious family. And I gained 2 more willing pest controllers!

White-browed Scrub Wrens are quick moving and secretive, and they love taking care of small caterpillars and moths in my sweetcorn
Superb Fairy Wrens eagerly hunt on newly disturbed garden beds

Then there's the creatures with lots of legs - bees, wasps, praying mantis, spiders, mildew-eating ladybugs, aphid-eatiing ladybugs, lizards, etc. Many of these are garden friendly predators. All have their job to do, including me. My job is to cooperate with the critters I want to encourage and do my part of discourage the damaging ones, naturally.

Stick Insects are not easy to spot, and determining which end is the head is also a challenge!

On wet Summer nights we hear the frogs all croaking together. Giant Green Tree Frogs appear on our window skills, enjoying the easy meals of bugs that are attracted to the light outside. They love to hide in our letterbox during the day (we joke, saying it must be a female waiting for her mail!) Plenty of Dwarf Green Tree Frogs love to hide in the lush vegetation of beans, corn and turmeric. In fact if I spot one when I am pulling out a spent crop, I will carefully relocate these little critters into some nice green foliage where they can be safe and happy.

This Giant Green Tree Frog ensures we have 2 less whiteants to worry about
These sleek garden skinks are very shy and also beautiful
Such excitement when we discovered a pair of Green Tree Snakes mating in our tree!
This beautiful female King Parrot visits us from time to time. Sadly, we have never seen a male in our area.
I was about to cut this unproductive grapevine out, until I saw the Figbirds enjoying it

Unless something's eating your garden, you're not part of the ecosystem.

Maintaining the balance between the friendly and non-friendly pests has become, in many ways, an unexpected pleasure with the satisfaction of knowing that my little patch is a haven for nature's pest-controllers.

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