Pest control is often associated with dangerous chemicals, but did you know that there are a number of animals here in Fort Lauderdale that are natural predators against pests? A pest in your garden or yard can be a biting insect, a plant-eating insect, a parasite, weeds, or plant diseases. Animals such as ladybugs, dragonflies, bats, frogs, lizards, and owls prey on pests in your landscape and provide natural pest control.
Do not purchase insects, lizards or other animals as a form of natural pest control. You may end up purchasing the wrong sub-species! Instead, encourage the expansion of native populations by planting native trees, shrubs and flowers. Use the sources in "More Information" below to be sure that you encourage native species.
Reduce your use of chemical pest control. Natural consumers need to be encouraged. If there's no food, they won't come around, and the chemicals may actually harm them when they eat animals and plants to which it has been applied.. It may take a season for you to build back your population of natural pest controllers, but it's worth the wait. For example, if you begin to see mosquitoes in your yard, resist the temptation to spray. Use repellent on your own clothes and skins, and try to stay indoors at dusk or as rains pool. With a little patience, you should start seeing dragonflies!
- University of Florida- IFAS: Ladybirds, Ladybird beetles, Lady Beetles, Ladybugs of Florida, Coleoptera: Coccinellidae
Amphibians and Reptiles
- Florida Museum of Natural History - Florida Amphibians and Reptiles
- University of Florida - IFAS EDIS: Non-native Reptiles