Insect Biodiversity in The Garden


Insects, whether pests or pest predators are essential for garden stability. Pesticides upset the delicate balance that exists within gardens. It is possible to radically reduce the number of insect pests in your garden without having to resort to hosing your garden with a potion of harsh chemicals and toxins. Poisoning the lower end of the food chain will not only keep the slugs and beneficial insects away but will also deter other natural predators like birds from visiting your garden.

Insect biodiversity is also enhanced in gardens that have a varied planting scheme within the garden; these varied habitats provide safe areas for pest predators to over winter within the garden. If you are not able to have a varied planting scheme, you can also use insect hotels to provide this protected environment. Planting indigenous plants will also increase the insect population within the garden.

List of indigenous plants that will encourage insects to the garden.

Kiggeleria africana

Vachellia xanthophloea

Halleria lucida

Plumbago auriculata

Melinis repens

Searsia crenata

Some of the more common pests found in the garden and their natural enemies as well as a more organic insect deterrent, as follows:

Pest Natural predator Alternative pest deterrent method
Aphids Lacewings

Lady birds

Damsel bugs

Aromatic herbs like citronella, mint and lemongrass are natural deterrent to aphids
Brown garden snail Predatory ground beetle Crushed eggshells put around base of plants
Caterpillars Assassin bugs


Make homemade sprays , using common ingredients like garlic, essential oils etc., use internet to find relevant recipes
Whitefly Encasia Formosa( natural predatory insect) Use yellow sticky traps or using a handheld vacuum to remove nymphs and larvae

Insects do compete with us for food, especially in the agricultural sector and large numbers of them are carriers of diseases and pathogens, but we must remember they are also pollinators, and scavengers and help to regulate ecosystems. Conservation and understanding of this group is critical for ecosystems to function. 

Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Treekeepers conserve urban forests
Firescape Your Garden in the Western Cape

Quick Links

Contact SALI

  • CAPE:
    (+27) 67 828 0667
    (+27) 64 975 4238
  • KZN:
    (+27) 83 542 4266