If you’re currently undertaking gardening, you’ve probably had your fair share of pest issues. Mosquitos, ticks, mice, rats—these are just a few examples of pests that can cause considerable damage to your garden. That’s precisely why pesticides are such an essential product for gardeners. But as you may already know, pesticides are somewhat double-edged.
While they can help cultivate your plants, using them may have a negative impact on your garden if not used properly. They can kill healthy plants, beneficial insects, and other organisms.
They can also reduce the quality of your garden’s soil, which effectively makes gardening harder. On the bright side, using pesticides isn’t the only way to deal with pests, which is why you’re here.
How to do Pest Control Without Damaging your Garden
Repel Pests With Strong-Scented Herbs Or Plants
Before anything else, you must understand that pest control doesn’t necessarily mean killing pests. In fact, you’ll find that instead of simply eliminating pests, agencies like Cleargate Pest Defense Company also work on preventing pests from entering your garden in the first place. One way to repel pests is by using strong-scented herbs/plants. Doing so allows you to add to your garden’s beauty while repelling pests at the same time.
On that note, here’s a list of plants/herbs and the types of pests they can repel:
- Citronella grass works perfectly as a mosquito repellant. It’s also a common ingredient in mosquito creams and repellants, which further proves its effectiveness.
- Lemongrass is an excellent alternative to citronella grass, and it’s more decorative.
- Chrysanthemums are a common ingredient in insecticide products. It works well in repelling ants, beetles, ticks, fleas, roaches, and other small insects.
- Marigolds are relatively easy to grow, and they work well against lice and aphids.
- Petunias work well as a decorative plant as well as a beetle deterrent.
- Basil is an excellent herb that can repel flying insects like mosquitos and flies.
This is perhaps the most organic way of doing pest control. Of course, you’ll have to put in extra effort into growing these herbs/plants, but considering how you no longer have to deal with pests by doing so, such plants should be a welcome addition to your garden. Simply put, you’ll be hitting two birds with one stone. Speaking of which, here’s another tip similar to this one.
Attract Beneficial Insects With Flowers
One of the many things you must know as a gardener is that not all insects are enemies. Some are more beneficial than harmful, typically because they prey on pests. Examples of beneficial insects are ladybugs, praying mantis, lacewings, and damsel bugs. For that reason, you might want to attract these insects in the same way you repel pests: by turning to certain kinds of plants.
In your case, you need to go for insectary plants, a type of plant that’s grown to attract, feed, and shelter predatory insects. Here’s a list of insectary plants and the insects they attract:
- Marigold produces nectar to feed beneficial insects, its leaves can provide shelter, but most importantly, its bright color attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs and aphids.
- Cosmos are also brightly colored like marigolds and provide food and shelter to insects.
- Parsley is relatively sought after by pollinators, but the best part is it’s easy to grow.
- Mint may also serve as an excellent source of nectar, and just like the previous plants mentioned, it provides decent shelter. But what makes this a perfect option is that it repels insects, so planting mint is a highly fruitful venture.
Of course, when deciding which flowers to plant, you have to take into account which pests are rampant in your garden. For example, if you’re dealing with mosquitos, you might want to have some water plants to attract dragonflies, the natural predator of mosquitos.
Leave A Couple Of Pests Be
Yes, if you want to control pests, you have to keep some pests around. This is mainly so that predatory insects that don’t consume nectar would have something to feed on. However, if you’re allowing some pests to live, make sure to take steps to prevent them from breeding. You can do this by keeping your garden clean since most pests often turn dirty areas into breeding grounds. You should also consider disposing of vegetables or fruits that have fallen to the ground.
Read More: How to Get Rid of Ants
Keep The Garden Clean
The first two tips would indeed work like a charm for pest control, but that’s if you’re only dealing with insects. If you’re dealing with rats, for example, you need a different approach.
Typically, maintaining the cleanliness of the garden should be enough to keep rats away. You can start by picking up garden and wood clippings. You should also make sure there are no fruits and vegetables on the ground, especially rotten ones. Finally, you have to cut overgrown areas regularly since they might serve as shelters for rats and other rodents. Clean your house as well since such creatures might use it as their hiding place instead of overgrown areas.
Support Your Plants’ Immune System
If your garden is currently crawling with pests, it’ll take a while to eliminate and repel them. In the meantime, you can boost your plants’ immune systems so they can better fight against harmful pathogens that pests may carry. Yes, plants also have immune systems like humans. Now the question is, how can you support your plants’ immune system?
If you didn’t know, potassium sulfate is the main component that influences the immune system of plants. Of course, you can’t directly inject your plants with this substance.
Instead, you can apply the potassium sulfate into the soil, which in turn passes on the nutrient to the plants. With that said, you can start by applying potassium sulfate fertilizers all over your garden. Doing so would ensure that your plants have enough nutrition to combat pests naturally.
Contrary to common belief, using pesticides can be harmful to your garden. They may be toxic to pets, but they’re equally harmful to plants. Of course, you don’t have to worry about anything if you’re a professional gardener or you’re hiring one. But if that’s not the case, you might want to consider doing pest control organically instead. On that note, these five tips should get you started.