Work with us here John…
We are establishing a base for people to ‘believe’ natural is better. (I personally have always known and practiced this… I have nematodes naturally in my bonsai…).
When handled naturally, keeping your plants healthy, they (bug infestations) should, almost, maybe, not ever be a problem.
Nematodes for root aphids. Lady bugs (Google the real ugly juvanile form!) and mantis to stop leaf aphids. Spiders ARE good bugs, too. These always show up at the same time as the bad bugs; except nematodes, they do not have wings, or feet, or crawl far fast…[Shotgun for rats?.. no, use rattlesnakes…]
Orthene etc are mostly toxic and carcingenic. These indiscriminantly KILL everything, including the good bugs, including bees…
Chemicals do have their proper place, though. I keep bug and fungal sprays as a last ditch nuclear attack for self (MY BONSAI, not your food!) preservation… like whitefly and pine needle fungi. I somewhat agree with you on the ants, they need to farm some where else. Nuke the basta_____ where they live…, no, wait, nematodes run the ants off! (Really…)
Balance of water and oxygen, oh ya, nematodes, microhrizza, akadama, organic fertilizer, and…
Just for fun, watch the 1972 movie Silent Running… Love the bots.