BARAKA GARDENS' ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTMENTS
WHY WE NO LONGER CARRY LADYBUGS
In 2012 we set a goal of eliminating the use of pesticides and became new customers of BioBest, a company that specializes in "beneficials" otherwise known as "good bugs." In that short time, we have become leaders in Alberta in the promotion and use of "integrated pest management" which means relying primarily on biologicals over chemicals.
Baraka Gardens has held a good reputation for pest-free plants and, from our perspective, it has improved even further through the science of beneficials and our on-going consultation with BioBest.
Our "good bug" program involves insects that are microscopic or nearly microscopic.
For our customers' own gardens, we also brought in ladybugs, a familiar insect that we all know enjoy eating pests such as aphids. They have been quite a good seller but we will no longer carry them.
Until a couple years ago, we were unaware that these ladybugs are not bred in captivity (unlike the insects that are part of our program) but rather are harvested from the wild. After much research and consideration we decided that the ecological impact of this activity is in question and so we don't want to participate in it until more is known. There is a very real possibility of unintended consequences for the natural habitat they've been taken from (southern United States) as well as an unknown impact on the area they are being introduced to. There is a possibility of parasites or diseases being carried by ladybugs from elsewhere.
A better idea is simply to try and attract native beneficials such as ladybugs to your garden.
The first step is to eliminate the use of pesticides in your garden. The second is to make your garden attractive to good bugs. That would include growing the same plants that attract bees and butterflies.
If you have questions about pest management, we'll offer you the best help we can.