Control pests in your garden can seem like a never-ending battle. Learn how to identify, prevent, and get rid of them.
Now that the winter is drawing to a close, we can look forward to the onset of spring. For many people, this means getting out in the garden and tidying up for the new season. What are you going to grow this year? Are you a flower lover or do you want to start growing your own vegetables or perhaps fruit? Each is a delightful task and one that is also good for your health, especially as we are emerging from a long period of interrupted daily life.
What are the Major Pests in Gardens?
Gardens might be the area of your home that you spend the most time in. They are also where you might encounter some of the most common pests. Garden pests come in all different shapes and sizes, but the one thing they have in common is that they all want to eat or destroy what you’ve worked so hard to grow. The best way to combat these pests is by knowing what varieties are out there and what steps can be taken to stop them from damaging your garden.
There are many different types of garden pests such as fungus, insects, rodents, birds, and even mammals.
Below is a list of some common pests found in gardens:
- beetle larvae
- cabbage looper caterpillar
- cicada killer wasp
- fly eggs
- ground beetles
- Japanese beetles
- pill bugs
- rain beetle
- rose chafer weevil
- rauzy bug
- spider mites
How to Identify Garden Pests
The first step in identifying a pest is to understand the damage the pest causes. Some common forms of damage are chewing or sucking plant juices, spreading disease, or introducing new species.
There are many kinds of insects that can cause garden damage and it’s not always easy to identify them. Pests that commonly attack gardens include aphids, armyworms, beet armyworms, cutworms, flea beetles, leafhoppers, leaf miners, and nematodes.
Most Effective Methods on How to Control Pests in Your Garden
One area of gardening that is important to understand is that of pest control. Below we will look at pest control in general, the different methods you can use to get rid of pests, and some ideas about prevention.
Garden pests take many forms: aphids, slugs, and a variety of other insects are the main problem with most gardens. In this article we are mainly talking about pest control for this sort of problem, rather than – for example – rabbits which can also be a pest – so let’s start by talking about different pest control methods with Nontoxic Form of Pest Control, how they work and when you should and should not use them.
Different Pest Control Methods
Pest control methods are mainly in three types: organic pest control, biological, and chemical control. There are certain creatures that are best dealt with by chemicals, but we would advise you to attempt all alternatives before resorting to such as they may contain substances harmful to animals and perhaps to humans.
Let’s begin our search by looking at organic pest control methods, which also include some manual ways of getting rid of pests.
Best Organic Pest Control Techniques
Organic pest control methods involve non-chemical and harmless ways of removing creatures that may be destroying your crops. Start by taking a regular walk around your garden and examining the stems and leaves of your plants. This applies to both flowers and to vegetables, as well as to fruit trees and bushes.
If you see leaves that have clearly been attacked, then look very closely for the culprit. Often, you’ll find caterpillars are the problem. They are the larvae of butterflies which are beautiful and harmless to your plants, but the caterpillar itself has a voracious appetite.
Many people advise picking caterpillars off by hand. We won’t as some can cause an allergic reaction if touched. The best way to rid your plants of caterpillars is to shake the stems of the plant or spray lightly with a hose. Handpick if either of these does not work but wear gloves. Encouraging birds into your garden will also help as they eat caterpillars so will act as natural control pest.
Slugs are also a problem but are easily rid of by way of organic methods. If you look for an organic fertilizer containing the active ingredient iron phosphate this is a safe product and one acceptable for organic gardening. Always check the ingredients before going down his route.
These methods can also work for aphids – one of the most prevalent of pests – and for other small bugs that infect your garden, and we advise you to keep up regular inspections as these creatures evolve quickly and eat a great deal more than their body weight. Now let’s talk about biological pest control, a method to consider when the above is not enough.
Biological Control For Pests
The way we use chemicals to treat pests in the garden has changed greatly. Some gardeners still use chemical control methods – we will talk about them in a moment – but they are frowned upon by others. control pests with Biological pesticides, however, are gaining a strong foothold in the market.
For example, a popular biological example is known commonly as Bt – although you may find it under a variety of brand names – which is short for Bacillus Thuringiensis. This is a bacterium that exists naturally in soil. It is harmless to people and to animals, and also to adult insects, but is successful in ridding plants of the larvae of many species, including the caterpillars mentioned above.
If you are thinking about growing cabbages or broccoli, for example, this biological method is strongly recommended. Ask your local garden supplies store for advice on other similar products that may be of use with your crops.
Chemical Control For Pests
Chemical pesticides should always be a last resort as the methods described above are preferable. This is because many chemical insecticides include ingredients that may be harmful to pets, sometimes to people, and often to other plants. Furthermore, the chemicals seep into the ground and become part of your soil, and this can inhibit growth.
There have also been laws introduced banning certain substances in pesticides. In a lot of cases, these were the active ingredient. However, the manufacturers still supply such brands but in a weakened form. They are often of little use.
Pest control experts recommend you try all other methods before you try chemicals which – should you have to use them – should be treated with care and pets and children kept off the treated areas until safe.
Seller of Pest Control Products
Before we move on to talk about how to prevent pests, the Pest Control expert will recommend that you check out your local garden supplies stores and find one that can offer you help and advice along with your required products. Most will be knowledgeable about control pests and should be able to give you good advice.
There is plenty you can do to prevent pests in your garden, especially in the early days of growth. Your garden supplies center will be able to sell you netting that you can lay above your small plants which will keep your seedlings free of insects. You should also encourage birds and other natural predators, more about them in a moment.
Read More: Why It’s Necessary For Pest Control In Fall?
Organic Gardening Control Pests
Although we have talked about organic pest control it is worth touching on this subject once again. By using organic and biological products – rather than those with chemicals – you are helping the environment by keeping pollution to a minimum and also keeping your garden safe for children and pets or other animals.
Natural Enemies of The Garden Pests
We’ve mentioned encouraging birds into your garden. They are not only delightful to watch but they also feed on caterpillars, insects, and more. They may also take a liking to your ripening fruit, however, so make sure soft fruit is grown in cages and covered.
Other natural enemies of pests include ladybugs which survive by eating aphids and can get through a great number in a short time. Parasitic wasps – a stingless insect – are also known for eating insects that harm plants, and can be attracted by planting dill, fennel, and catnip among your crops.
Use of Pesticides for Control Pests
If you are going to use pesticides, then please ensure you read the ingredients. Your garden supplies store will be happy to advise you as to which is safe and appropriate for the crops you have chosen to grow, so don’t be afraid to ask as they’ll be happy to help.
Finally, if you keep animal feed outdoors or in an outhouse – whether for dogs, cats, birds, horses, or any others – make sure it is stored in an airtight and solid container where rodents cannot get at it.
We hope this brief article has helped you get an idea of where to start with your pest control, so enjoy the spring and your garden this season.
The easiest strategies, like covering the soil with mulch, are likely to take care of many pests. It may also be the only option if your garden is small and has no space for other methods. The downside is that mulch can harbor insects that may be drawn to your plants.
The second easiest strategy is to treat soil with an organic insecticide like pyrethrin, which will kill many insects but not all types. This method also needs to be repeated every two weeks in order for it to be successful.