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Tips on attracting positive insects?


I've got a small infestation of aphids on a load my plants, dose anybody have tips on attracting beneficial insects to help me with my little 'war'?        I've made multiple log piles, stick piles, long native grasses, stinging nettles, one bug house (filled with tube like bark from a hazelnut tree+ I plan on setting up a few more) and I've just sown yarrow....   Any other ideas? 


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,554

    You need flowers with pollen to attract ladybirds and nectar to attract hover flies as ladybirds and the hover fly young will are great consumers of aphids.   

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Chris MasonChris Mason Posts: 159

    Approximately 4 weeks, but all of the stuff I mentioned (except the bug house) has been in place for a few months (the affected area is newly set up). I'll post some pictures tomorrow


    Ive got 4 native homey suckles, chives (flowering) raspberriesx4 red currents, black currents, black medick, hollyx4   With lots of flowering seeds, willpower herbs, oxeye dasies smothering the grass, buttercups, forget me nots and I knowhour neighbors have lots of flowers

    ^^ I plan on increasing my wild flowers next year 


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,554

    They don't have to be wild flowers and in any case, garden soils tend to be too fertile for most of them to do well as wild flowers tend to grow in poor soils with low nutrients.

    Single forms of ornamental flowers provide pollen and nectar too.  Hardy geraniums are particularly popular with insects and come in a wide range of flower size and colours from spring to late summer, depending on variety, and they also have varieties suitable to shade, dappled shade and full sun.

    Snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and alliums can be planted to provide nectar and pollen over a long spring season and will be appreciated by early bumble bees and other beneficial insects as they emerge.  Go for the species rather than the modern hybrids to stay in keeping with your native theme.  

    Geums, foxgloves, campanulas, cornflowers and potentillas are good too as long as you steer clear of the doubles.  Simple roses are good too and then all sorts of plants will provide flowers and colour and nectar and pollen to take you through summer and autumn.

    Ivy, when mature enough to flower, provides an important food source in autumn as well as shelter.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Chris MasonChris Mason Posts: 159


    My garden lawn has dasies, red clovers, black medick, creeping buttercup, alone the sides (which are rarely cut) I've also got common knapweed and as time goes on I'm seeing more and more things pop up - that's only with a few months management to encourage a better diversity of flowers+ I didn't plant any of these flowers.

      I know to stay away from those types of flowers,  when I said 'plant more wild flowers' I meant it more to towards planting either wild carrots, yarrow(depending on how my small trial goes), dead nettles or corn flowers anuals.      +   Edd- I've tried taking some pictures but my camera can't seem to focus in them (the macro on the camera is terrible) but I know they are aphids, they fit the description in every way
  • yarrow2yarrow2 Posts: 782

    Hi Chris.  How lucky you are to have red clovers.  I haven't seen them for years even in the wild!

    My camera is appalling for macro as well.  I'm sure it has some function which does it and I haven't figured it out yet.  It's a Sony Cybershot and it's driving me nuts!

  • Chris MasonChris Mason Posts: 159


    In the front garden we have ribwort plantain along with something else, I've only recently noticed something coming through, if you want to see wild flowers your best bet is to go to former farms, I used to work at a livery yard, it's a former farm, it honestly had more flowers than a meadow, one section was literally 100% two very dominate flowers... 

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