One of the interesting things that scientists are looking at right now are ways to attract predator insects to the garden. Instead of designing more insecticides to kill off pests, the aim is to attract predators to do the job for us. So here’s the deal. Get some oil of wintergreen. Seriously.
A research study done by Dr. David James at Washington State University showed that fragrant wintergreen oil, when sprayed on gardens, attracted natural predators such as green lacewings, minute pirate bugs (Orius spp.), spider mite-eating lady beetles (Stethorus spp.), and aphid-eating syrphid flies.
How cool is that!?
This was done on the farm-field level and organic companies such as Rincon-Vintova are now producing commercial products based on this kind of research.
It’s something you might want to experiment with in your own garden. Given it’s organic and you’re *not* spraying it on leaves but around the edges of the garden, it’s likely worth a test.
I’d be careful about it hitting leaves though as it might burn.