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I noticed a few weeks ago I had plenty of beneficial insects keeping my pests at bay, and they all seem to have disappeared now, and I still have some pests, like potato loving slugs. Why is that?

All I do know is that some people have been using pesticides that kill bad insects which would be against community garden rules because it states that you're not allowed to harm the plants of someone else plants by the gardening method you use.

  • I have almost no experience with pesticides so I can't help but wonder, is it possible to use pesticides to kill "bad" insects while not harming "beneficial" insects? – Al Maki Jun 30 '18 at 15:15
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The question regarding the disappearance of your beneficial bugs is a good one and also a BIG one.

Basic Info to Understand:
* Beneficials must prey; therefore, where there are no bad bugs, there are no good bugs.
* Keep beneficials by allowing a small population of pests and by planting beneficial attracting plants

Here are some reasons that you might have seen a decline in beneficials.
Listed in order of most likely to least...

#1
You have done such a great job of keeping your garden healthy that there simply weren't enough pests for your beneficials to prey on. So...they've gone elsewhere.
Give it some time. Once the pests return, and the will, so will the beneficials.

#2
It's a lifecycle thing. The beneficials have lived/died and a new generation has yet to hatch.

#3
Your community members have sprayed and killed a large enough quantity of prey that the beneficials have moved on.
Liquid pesticides are taken in through the leaves of the plant.
So unless the wind blew the spray onto your plants' leaves, it will not affect your plants or your beneficials.

Solutions:
1) Build it and they will come.
Plant these beneficial attracting plants:
fennel, sweet alyssum, Queen Anne's lace, parsley, yarrow, spearmint, hairy vetch, crimson clover, caraway, cosmos, bishop's weed, blazing star, coreopsis, golden marguerite, sunflowers, candytuft and coriander
2) Be patient and wait for the next generation
3) Report your community members to the board.

  • Note that Queen Anne's Lace is a biennial and will reseed with a vengeance after it blooms in the second year. Also note that Bishop's Weed may be banned as an invasive in your state. The variegated form is not particularly nasty, but it reseeds as the species, which has a bad habit of taking over your (and your neighbors') garden. I doubt that your fellow community gardeners will appreciate either. – Jurp Jul 4 '18 at 22:52

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