Posted: 05/06/2012 at 11:20
Indeed, pests are kept in check in nature, by birds, and other insects which eat thier neighbours. We love to intervene, kill anything that we don't like the look of, and then wonder why we have every bug known, and a few that weren't a few years ago (lily beetle for example). Since I stopped using sprays and things a few years ago, my plants are healthier, I have lots of garden birds and fewer pests. I do have to say the first couple of years were awful as a balance was brought about - and I do use copper tape and grit to discourage creeping things. I also give up on plants that are just obviously not happy here, no good growing something that you watch die for the next three years.
I am not now totally organic, which makes me sad, but there is nothing local to use for lily beetle, as it is an import and nothing here will eat it. For the lilies in pots, and nowhere else, I do use a bug killer. Had I known what I know now I may never have started with lilies, but a hundred or so later it is rather too late for that. Having said that, I have not used bug killer this year yet, not because we don't have lily beetle, we do, but we also have hundreds of ladybirds and I certainly do not want to kill those, or their strange looking young.