Monday, January 17, 2022

Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control

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Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden is an accessible and logical guide to natural pest control for gardeners written by Jessica Walliser. Due out 1st Feb 2022 from Quarto on their Cool Springs Press imprint, it's 208 pages and will be available in paperback format.

This is the second/revised edition of the book which was first published in 2013. I don't own a copy of the first edition for comparison, so the review covers only the second. The layout is inviting and logically arranged. The introduction covers the basics of entomology and concepts: what are beneficial insects, how they work and what they eat (harmful bugs, mostly). The intro is followed by a bestiary with some of the most common groups of insectivorous and parasitoid bugs. 

The book is lavishly illustrated with clear color photos throughout. The photos show featured insects in various life stages including eggs, pupa, and adults which make identification easier. Tips and extra info is included in highlighted text boxes throughout. Photo captions are well written and easy to understand. The chapter on useful plants for native pollinators and parasitoids has been written with a good eye toward garden design and diversity. There are a lot of plants which are beautiful and useful and which people will want to plant in their gardens (instead of hiding the weedy looking ones). There's a lot of info about companion planting and I was interested to see that the author covers purchasable controls and predator species.

There's an abbreviated resource and links list in the back of the book which is mostly slanted toward readers in the USA but will also provide relevant info for readers living in other parts of the world. The book also includes a cross referenced index.

No single book is going to be the holy grail of gardening information; this one does a good job of deep diving into an important (and often overlooked) aspect of natural controls and organic methods. 

Five stars. This would make a good selection for public or school library acquisition, makers groups, gardening and activity groups, home and community gardeners, smallholders, and the like. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.   

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