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Natural Biological Control Is Key to Integrated Pest Management

August 2, 2017



By Scott Blevins

Dragonfly Pond Works (DPW) is a firm believer in using natural biology to control pests, as well as improve the health and enhance the beauty of lakes, ponds, and waterways.

Called “integrated pest management program” (IPM), this philosophy of focusing on biological methods to manage ponds recognizes that, in aquatic ecosystems, the actions of one organism typically can affect a range of others. IPM limits the use of the chemical pesticides that can change an ecosystem’s equation, and even kill beneficial insects. Ironically, while IPM not only reduces the quantity of aquatic pesticides entering the ecosystem, it also cuts costs.

DPW typically works within a three-year plan to achieve the objectives of restoring the health of your pond or your community waterways and other aquatic assets. An IPM program for your community includes tactics for managing wildlife, plant life, and aquatic life. We identify all of your control options before work begins. An effective IPM program factors in all elements of an ecosystem to create a road map that will enrich your sanctuary.


Managing pests like mosquitoes in a biologically friendly way means creating habitat for the organisms that eat them. These include minnows and dragonfly larvae. Our natural bug control strategy also uses grass carp and tilapia to help control weeds and algae in the water.


We like to create “biological bulwarks” of flowering native plants that not only look great, but aid the ecosystem. Used on the shoreline, the right plants slash the need for herbicides and curtail the amount of nutrients that enter a body of water. Plants also provide habitat, help improve water quality, prevent invasives from getting a foothold, and provide erosion control.


Water quality benefits not only from nutrient reduction and natural buffers, but also from strategic use of aeration systems and even bacterial additives — although we work to minimize the latter. Any pond management program which focuses on only one activity, such as only using herbicides, is by definition out of balance. A sound IPM program relies on a matrix of tools. To achieve results, we use a mind map that illustrates connections among natural systems. IPM works because it is a mixture of scientific principles and common sense.