A Year and a Half of Non-Interference*
*Well, not exactly, because I have picked off the occasional egg cluster or fat larva and will open webworm nests for the birds when I see them, but generally the predators manage without me. I've accepted that I'll probably always have aphids in my trees and ants in my compost pile, but they have their benefits. The aphids don't do too much damage, and the ants can be very protective of the trees where they herd. As one of you has pointed out before, it's also good to have them to break down the food in my compost pile, since it's easier than trying to keep earthworms in this type of soil.
And strangely, the ants haven't been very aggressive toward me, except on that one occasion when I stepped on a piece of rotten fruit and they crawled up my pants. :o I always used to worry that they would swarm onto my shovel while I was turning over my compost, but they never did.
Looking back, I think all my worries about pests were the result of trusting older horties more than I trusted myself, just because they were older. Most of those people were ignorant of ecology and didn't deserve that kind of respect. I should have exercised my own mind.