So how are pests helping farmers that might cause consternation at home become handy helpers to them?
Like a lot of California homeowners, you probably spend a fair amount of time trying to keep invaders such as spiders and ladybugs from setting up camp in your home. But for California’s organic farmers, quite a few insects and arachnids that wouldn’t necessarily be welcome in your living room are helping to reduce reliance on pesticides and making produce healthier and safer for consumers.
Ladybugs, Spiders, and Bees—Oh My!
So how do some of the same pests that might cause consternation at home become handy helpers to farmers? The answer lies in a more natural approach to farming, wherein spiders, bees, and ladybugs—along with reduced pesticides and the creation of hedgerows around fields and plots—are leveraged to control insects that damage crops, provide better pollination, and generally help to create a healthier ecosystem.
While being stung is always a concern (especially for the allergic), the honeybee is generally regarded as a benign presence in the garden or yard, especially since bees are responsible for pollinating around 15% of food crops (a figure that jumps to 80% if you include wild bees such as those used in this holistic approach to farming). Setting up pollinator habitats (such as hedgerows) and reducing insecticide use (which damages bees much more severely than many of the species it’s meant to control) leads to better pollination and a more stable environment.
So when it comes to farming and honey, both honeybees and wild bees are old pals we’re learning how to care for more effectively. But other, less well-regarded species such as spiders and ladybugs—both of whom are often considered pests in the home—are also welcomed with joy by organic farmers. Also known as “biological pest control,” using helpful insects to control undesirable ones has a long history, especially in California. From reducing invasive, crop-destroying pests to improving crop yields, these species work in concert with bees, birds, and other hedgerow-loving species to help humanity get the food it needs while still respecting the environment.
A Helping Hand at Home
If you’ve got a garden or grove you’re looking to enhance with a more natural approach, planting a hedgerow near your garden (containing native species inviting to pollinators) is a good start. You’ll probably want to balance nature’s assistance with some prudent defensive measures, however, if your garden is close to your home, since the species who are friends in the garden might be seen as fiends in your home.
The future of farming is organic and biodiverse. But if you’ve got a little too much biodiversity in your home, and are looking for help in controlling unwanted pests, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friendly neighborhood pest control experts at American Rat Control. We can help you find a winning solution to help you keep your home pest-free and still take advantage of some unlikely allies in your garden or fields.