The dangers of Pesticides to Garden Wildlife

A personal devil's advocate view of Nature's chain

Have you ever wondered why you may not see certain creatures in our Gardens?
May be it's just 'a bad year' or may be it's through our own doing through using certain pesticides to get rid of what we call 'pests'.
Nature's chain is a very long one and every species has a purpose and every one relies on the other for survival.

Hedgehog foraging for food
Photo: © Down the Lane

I think I can best sum up my view on it from the old Burl Ives song 'I know an old Lady who swallowed a Fly'.
She swallowed a cow to catch a goat, swallowed a goat to catch the dog, swallowed the dog to catch the cat, swallowed the cat to catch the bird, swallowed the bird to catch the spider, and swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
Regret to say she did come to an end herself by swallowing a horse to catch the cow!

Naturally it is a fictional song but it does describe more or less what happens in our Gardens.
Supposing she didn't have a cat to catch the bird, the cat is an important part of the dog's diet and that in turn affects the goat, cow and horse!

This is what happens in our Garden's when we break the chain of nature, all creatures have a purpose to another, all depend on each other and all have their uses to us.

The problem lay in how we understand the meaning of 'pest'. It seems to me a Pest is determined by it's use to us human's. If we can't eat it or use it for work purposes, it's in our way, an annoyance and we want rid of it.
Good examples of this are Wasps and the Slugs..
Wasps sting us, they don't make honey and in most, scare us into dancing around the garden trying to avoid one. But as well as Bees and Butterflies, they have an important role to play in pollination.
Slugs eat our Flowers and Vegetables, but if we poison them, the chances are we are also poisoning those creatures who eat them such as Hedgehogs and Toads.

Attracting Hedgehogs will act as a deterrent for Slugs, nature's own pesticide!

Rats are another one, poison them and it can affect your Cats and Chickens should they eat them.

Bugs and other various flies itch, bite and get in our way, but they are a main source of diet for our Birds.

I guess the solution is balance and by clever companion planting in the Vegetable Patch and having flowers which will distract certain 'pests' from our prize winning flowers this can be achieved.

Attracting and distracting can work without leaving a mass destruction of important wildlife.
We say that all creatures have a purpose for each other but we must remind ourselves that we are a creature too.

Too much getting rid of things which aren't a use to us will eventually catch up and we will be the endangered species.....and it'll all be our own fault!

Only buy wildlife friendly products for your Garden.



Hedgehog Population decline

Common Lizard basking on rock

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