Living Homegrown

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LH 88: Attracting Beneficial Insects to Your Garden

A Natural Approach to Pest Control

Most people think of organic gardening as switching out synthetic sprays and pesticides for more natural or organic ones. But the truth is…

If you have a balanced ecosystem in your garden, you don’t need sprays at all!

But let’s be honest here…

That’s a difficult thing to wrap your head around when an army of bugs are eating your cabbage!

The trick is to not just focus on getting rid of bugs – but to focus on the balance of the entire ecosystem in your garden and the good bugs that you want to see.

This approach is not always easy to figure out on your own, which is why I brought in horticulture expert Jessica Walliser. She has the education and the experience to help you balance your garden…naturally!


You will learn:

  • About the ecosystem happening in your own backyard
  • How to better balance that system
  • Making the shift from sprays to no-sprays
  • Do plants have immune systems
  • Can plants send out distress calls
  • How to change your mindset about bugs
  • How to make a beetle bump – trust me, it’s cool!


Jessica Walliser:

A former organic market farm owner, Jessica now co-hosts The Organic Gardeners radio show and is an award-winning author and a well respected authority in the organic gardening industry.

She is a regular contributor to Fine Gardening, Urban Farm, and Hobby Farms magazines. For over 10 years she has written two weekly gardening articles for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Jessica holds a degree in ornamental horticulture from The Pennsylvania State University. And she has taught about various gardening topics for over 20 years.

She is author of the Amazon best-seller Good Bug, Bad Bug: Who’s Who, What They Do, and How to Manage Them Organically and blogs weekly for both and

Jessica lives and gardens northwest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband and son, two cats, six chickens, two hermit crabs, and billions and billions of very good bugs.


Resources & Links Mentioned:

Savvy Gardening Blog

Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden* – Jessica’s book

Good Bugs, Bad Bugs* – Jessica’s book

Ironweed Apparel – Jessica’s new T-shirt Company!

How to Make a Beetle Bank – article by Jessica

Bank on Beneficial Beetles article by OSU




Click here for the full transcript for Episode #88


Related Podcast Episodes:

Creating a Bee-Friendly Garden

Designing a Food Garden for Double-Duty


*denotes an affiliate link

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy®. For 9 years, Theresa was the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.