Good Bugs Workshops

Gardens flourish with good bugs

 
Gardeners wanting a healthy way to beat insect pests, look no further.
At six free community workshops this February and March, local agricultural pest management experts will reveal how good bugs can be used in your own backyard to improve the health of you and your garden.
Click the link for more information: Good Bugs flyer 2015
Angelica Cameron, an entomologist and consultant with Integrated Pest Management Technologies, advises farmers across Australia on the latest methods to control insect pests in crops.
“Not all bugs are bad for crops,” said Ms Cameron. “People are always looking for ways to reduce harmful chemicals in their food, and now even some of the biggest farms supplying Australia’s major supermarkets are discovering the value of good bugs,” she said. “By encouraging natural insect predators, we’ve helped dramatically reduce the amount of insecticide used commercially.”
Now Banyule residents can benefit from Ms Cameron’s expertise at workshops on integrated pest management at Buna Reserve Community Garden in Heidelberg West.
“This knowledge isn’t just for farmers,” said Ms Cameron. “Many suburban greenthumbs will grab the first insecticide they find at Bunnings to get rid of aphids on their roses or whitefly on their tomatoes.”
 
“What most people don’t realise is that spraying an insecticide can make pest problems worse. Many insecticides – particularly those commonly available to home gardeners – kill good bugs too. Without their natural predators hunting them down, pests that survive the spray are free to eat their way right through your veggie patch.”
Funded by a Banyule City Council Environmental Sustainability grant, the workshops will target three audiences: the general public, kids and community leaders.
“The general sessions are for anyone interested in healthier gardens,” said event organiser Yuki Cameron. “We’re running sessions for kids to engage young people in sustainable food production, and for those representing large families, community groups or schools we’ll tailor the community leader sessions to help spread the word.”
Workshop participants will learn to recognise the most common pests and beneficial insects in urban gardens to achieve better pest control and avoid unnecessary use of insecticides.
“We’ll show how to attract ladybird beetles and hoverflies to keep aphids at bay,” said Yuki Cameron. “Participants will also get to meet the green lacewings and damsel bugs that suck the juicy bits out of caterpillars, they’ll meet the predatory mites that eat pest mites, and they’ll even meet the tiny wasps whose larvae live as parasites in aphids and caterpillars!”
Workshops are free but places are limited. Booking online at http://bit.ly/bugs3081, email bunagarden@gmail.com or call Yuki on 0414 489 814.
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