Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Natural Pest Control

Mother Nature has her own ways of maintaining the balance. One of her intrepid warriors is this centipede. Although hounded by humans, the centipede does an efficient job in controlling the slugs and snails in the garden.
The baby African Snail is as voracious an eater as its parents. It has already decimated my spider lilies.

There are some plants , like the Golden Zebra plant Sanchezia speciosa which has found its own defence mechanisms. Two years ago when the African Snail infestation was at its height in my suburb, I feared for the Sanchezia, which was attacked day and night by monstrous snails. But I don't know what chemical it has manufactured now, it is no longer palatable to the snails.

The Heliconium is not so clever. Its leaves get eaten by the hiding snails during the night.
I am not much bothered about the snails now, because it has its own natural predators which keep it in control.


  1. That African snail is a real pest and does a lot of damage. Luckily we don't have it in Australia and hope we never do

  2. Sometimes natures pest controls just aren't quick enough for me.
    The pattern on the Heliconium looks human made...amazing.

  3. Snails are a problem but now most of them have disappeared for the winter. Thank goodness!

    The Golden Zebra plant looks lovely!

  4. Ian, you are lucky to be free of those monsters.
    Patsy, Yes. I too help nature by killing those snails whenever I see them!
    Kanak, Our winters are not cold enough for the snails to disappear:-(

  5. Hello Lotusleaf,
    we too have an infestation of the African snail here too on the island and we are trying to get rid of them. They came into the island in a cargo container that was shipped from Guadeloupe a few years ago. No one reported to the quarantine office until they had already multiplied and disappeared into the gullies and fields. They are now a big threat to the farmers. I do not have them in my garden but heard that they were found recently in my area, brought in by someone with a truckload of soil. The field was burnt and hopefully they were destroyed. Yes the centipede is a great pest controller in the garden but they come into the house as well. I have been bitten by one and recently my hubby. It was very painful. I do confess that I kill them when they appear in my space and in the garden when working. I do not seek them out so I reckon there are lots more in my compost heap.

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