Good Bug Bad Bug
Who’s Who, What They Do, and How to Manage Them Organically
By Jessica Walliser
Review by Kerry Lake, MG '13
friend gifted this book to me. He knows that WMMGA is working on the
topic of pesticides for our website. He thought that a book that
declares itself to contain “all you need to know about the insects in
your garden” would be of interest. He is so right, particularly because
this book not only details some of the most destructive insects, but
also the good ones we will want to nurture.
Did you know
that only 10% of the world’s trillions of insects are ‘bad’? That
means the remaining 90% are not bad, and most likely are ‘good’. When
we use pesticides (insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides) in our
gardens, these poisons are affecting the life cycle of the beneficial
insects more so than those of the non-beneficials. Let’s find another
way to control and eliminate these specific problem insects and not the
good visitors to our gardens.
introduction is filled with great information, even for the seasoned
gardener. Jessica Walliser also has a global warning for gardeners
regarding climate change and what that is bringing to the insect world.
As the subtitle suggests, she advocates for an organic approach to
problems in the garden. How to eliminate a problem insect? First,
identify the specific insect. Once we know what it is, we can develop
our plan of elimination. This is where Good Bug Bad Bug will assist us.
portion of the book presents fact-filled profiles of 27 of the most
common and destructive gardens pests. This includes photos of the adult
insect, larval stages, and the destruction on a plant for easy
identification. There is a list of the plants these bad guys like. She
then gives us biological controls, preventative actions, and a list of
organic product controls that may help. She then does the same for 14
of the most beneficial insects including photos of the adults, the eggs
and larva so we don’t mistakenly eliminate the good bugs.
hand-sized book (6 inches by 7 inches) has a thick cover with a heavy
binding and thick glossy pages, so we can take this book out into the
garden to identify the insects on our plants and not destroy this
reference. OK, I’m ready to find them, both the good ones and the bad
ones. Here I come.