In "Natural Methods of Pest Control" I blogged about how I was using beneficial bugs like lady bugs to control garden pests that were attacking plants in my garden. To read about the use of lady bugs follow the link above so you can see the photos and the video I made.
The garden this year and areas around my house have been a sort of sanctuary for various bugs- especially flies. In the heat of the day they come into the garden to take refuge in the shade of the plants and flowers. Plants like my Eryngium planum-Sea Holly seem to attract them to the garden in droves. The problem is compounded by the fact that I am gardening on a small urban lot and there isn't much of a buffer between the garbage cans that often go unclosed in the alleys and the house and porch.
Since I decided this year to garden without insecticides I've been having to improvise other ways to deal with bugs and some methods have proven more useful than others. To deal with the flies that inevitably end up in the house and on the back deck I decided to find an alternative to bug sprays. One day while buying a soft drink I saw that a local store was selling a couple of carnivorous plants and as I was standing in the check-out line inspiration hit me. I would fight nature with nature.
I picked up a couple of carnivorous plants and brought them home with me and set them in the house near the front and back door where the flies collect and seem to wait for the doors to be open so they can come in. Within a couple of days there was dramatic reduction in the amount of flies indoors and when I went to check on the pitcher plants I had set out I noticed that many of them had lured flies into their traps.
Use Carnivorous Plants In The Garden
Even if you don't have the right soil conditions to grow carnivorous plants in your garden you can benefit from having them around. Create mini-bog gardens in pots without drainage holes and place them in your patio gardens or sink the pots into the ground in your flower beds with your annuals and perennials. Since carnivorous plants don't differentiate between bad and good bugs you'll probably find some beneficial bugs are also captured but the sacrifice of a few good bugs I think outweighs the loss of several garden pests like flies. Another benefit to growing them in your garden is that there probably aren't many other gardens around you where pitcher plants can be found.
Use Carnivorous Plants In Your Indoor Garden
If you've ever over-watered your indoor garden you've probably have had to deal with little flies or gnats buzzing around your head from time to time. Sometimes I read threads on gardening forums from home owners who have colonies of these flies living in their kitchen sinks or some appear after letting fruit ripen in the kitchen. To deal with indoor plant pests that fly try butterworts and sundews placed near or on your houseplants. Besides the benefit of reducing your houseplant pests adding carnivorous plants like these increase your houseplant collection and are good teaching aids for children and visitors to your house. My foster brother has been fascinated by the carnivorous plants and the bugs they've captured.
If you're looking for natural methods of controlling pests in your garden, either indoors or outdoors, consider adding carnivorous plants to your arsenal if you garden organically or don't don't want to use insecticides for various reasons.