You may not realise it but there are many insects that eat other insects as a natural form of pest control, for example, lady beetles. Attract more of these beneficial insects into your garden by planting loads of flowering plants. The pollen and nectar in the flowers provides a valuable secondary food source for the good guys and will encourage them to hang around longer.
If you need to use a spray, then always select a registered organic product (look for an organic logo on the label) and one that doesn't harm beneficial insects like bees. These products are very effective but still safe for us and the environment.
Many common pests such as aphids, mites, whitefly and scale, are called sap suckers because that's how they feed on plants. These pests weaken plant growth and can also transmit diseases. As sap suckers feed, they produce a sugary waste called honeydew that ants love. If you see ants running up and down a plant it usually means the presence of sap sucking pests. Sooty mould will also grow over foliage as it lives off the sugary honeydew. Spray with Eco-Organic Garden's eco-oil or eco-neem to get rid of the pests and the ants. The sooty mould will go away too. When spraying, be sure to cover the entire plant for good results.
Another group of pest insects are chewers. These include caterpillars, grasshoppers, curl grubs, lawn armyworm and fungus gnats. These insects chew through various parts of plants both above and below the ground. Pick off any insects you can see and spray or soil drench with eco-neem for thorough control. Always spray at the first sign of trouble as chewing insects are hungry critters that do a lot of damage in a short time.
One particularly troublesome insect is the dreaded fruit fly. It lays eggs in young fruit, which then hatch into maggots that destroy the fruit. We have two main species of fruit fly in Australia –the Queensland fruit fly, found on the east coast, and the Mediterranean fruit fly, found only in Western Australia. For problem areas, start early in the season and apply Eco-Organic Garden's eco-naturalure around plants. Its special blend of sugars and proteins attracts both species and when eaten, the organic insecticide kills the insect. Re-apply weekly. In regions with the Queensland fruit fly, hang one of Eco-Organic Garden's eco-lure traps, which use specific pheromones to attract the male, so you know the insect is present.
Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.
When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.