Eat, prey, love

Members interested in learning more about gardening would be familiar with Faye Arcaro who co-presents on Curtin 100.1 radio’s garden show on Saturday mornings. Faye is also known from the ABC’s Gardening Australia.  Participants were treated to more of her vast knowledge on managing pests in an informative and entertaining presentation full of anecdotes at a NPCG workshop on Saturday 7th April.

Photo of Faye presenting.
Faye presenting workshop

A self-confessed lover of photographing all stages of garden pests, development that we might otherwise overlook (or not be too keen on knowing much about!), we were shown all manner of extraordinary photos and heard amazing tales of disguise and deception aimed at tricking predators. For instance, how some of her all-time favourite wasps clean up lots of debris – and also predate other unwanted bugs, bees that looks just like a common variety of wasp to avoid being eaten by them! Other insects that pile the discarded outer shell of larvae on their backs to avoid being seen as a living potential meal. As Faye said, it’s all about the balance and we shouldn’t bother about a few chewed leaves or, say, aphids spoiling the look of our plants. We should instead let nature take its course to achieve a natural balance without pesticides. If you have to use chemicals to control pests such as aphids, Eco-oil is recommended because it’s safe for other garden insects, pets and people. The question was put to Faye about controlling rats, which she acknowledged is difficult and poison baits is often the only answer, getting in early as soon as you detect them. Put baits directly where they are seen, sleep or breed and be sure to look beyond the ground level in planters, light fittings etc.

There was a delicious and generous afternoon tea that followed. Special thanks to those who baked. Thanks to Faye for your time and sharing a fascinating world of pests So be sure to check out our next workshop – Composting.