Ozark - the Australian Wildlife Carer's Information & Communications Network

Wed - Sep 06


By Kathryn Keen

Many species of wildlife are our natural pest controllers. Insectivorous birds consume large quantities of garden insects, spiders and cockroaches.

Bluetongue lizards eat snails and slugs. Some commercial pesticides are highly toxic and may pass through the food chain. When you poison 'pests' in the house or garden, you may be inadvertently poisoning our marvellous wildlife.


A healthy garden doesn't normally suffer from severe insect infestations. If you have used toxic pesticides for a long time, it may take a while for the natural balance to be restored, but it is worth it in the long run.

Planting native trees, bushes and shrubs will encourage wildlife to your yard. Providing an understory of shrubs and mulching gardens will not only conserve water, but will enable smaller insectivorous birds and native lizards to inhabit your garden as well.

Providing a source of clean fresh water in an area safe from pet dogs or cats will also encourage native birds to your yard.

Take a close look for any hollows in trees before lopping, as you may be destroying the home or nesting site of a native animal. Many of our native species live in tree hollows and can't survive without them.

Enjoy sharing our environment with our precious and unique wildlife!


This honey jar was converted into the "super cockroach trap". ? I have used this design of trap over time with mixed results. ?The usual baits are vegetable oil, with a bit of banana, or a little beer. However after some experimentation, I have discovered that the cockroaches here are obviously gourmets, as they much prefer extra virgin olive oil. ? In fact with two traps side by side, I found that the vegetable oil trap was often empty, whilst the trap with extra virgin olive oil would trap up to 5 cockroaches a night. I also found that they are particularly fond of peanut butter as well.

The traps pictured here, have some of my good quality extra virgin olive oil, and a dob of peanut butter as well. They're much more effective than expensive toxic pesticides and baits, and cost less too!

The trap has petroleum jelly (Vaseline) smeared around the inside from the rim to about a third of the way down. Don't put it on the outside, as you want the cockroach to be able to climb in. (I also sometimes put a few elastic bands around the outside of the jar to make it easier for them to climb in). Once the cockroaches get in to the food in the jar, they can't get out.

Download Wildlife-Friendly Pest Control Pamphlet - PDF

?Ozark - Australian Wildlife Carers Network
Website written & designed by Kathryn Keen