One’s garden is at once a sanctuary and a source of great pride for the work that you have put into it. Although the major factors in a garden’s health and beauty are things such as irrigation and fertilizer, there is another factor that should be considered whenever you are thinking about gardening. That, of course, is the presence of pests.
Pests in a garden can take several forms, from the insects that we are all familiar with mammals such as rodents, and even invasive plants such as weeds. There is nearly no end to the list of things that can damage or destroy your garden and reduce the level of pleasure you are able to take in it.
Here is a list of some of the more common problems that can arise and what you can do to ameliorate the impact of each one.
This is likely to be the biggest and most tenacious problem you face when tending to a garden. The category of weeds in and of itself encompasses a huge range of plants that are undesirable or downright harmful to the beneficial plants you want to cultivate.
Weeds can come from anywhere and often steal vital nutrients from the same soil that your plants need to flourish. They are also well known for blocking out vital sunlight to more beneficial plants, meaning that your garden will never be as healthy and beautiful as it can be if you allow these plants to grow unchallenged.
To kill weeds you will need an effective and proven herbicide. These come in two forms, the first is pre-emergent herbicides that kill the plants before they come out of the ground, and regular topical herbicides that treat those weeds that have already blossomed.
Although weeds are a huge problem in gardens, the threat of insects leads to even more plant damage per year. The most common pests that can and will damage your garden if they’re allowed to are insects such as ants, crickets, and aphids, all of which bring their own destructive problems to the peace and serenity of your garden.
For instance, ants not only can eat through the leaves and stems of your plants, but they also have a tendency to farm problem pests such as aphids, which are even more damaging to the garden over time.
Often the best way to treat these sorts of pests is to use a natural or organic product first, such as diatomaceous earth, before moving on to the more powerful and potentially hazardous chemical pesticides. It often is enough to merely treat the problem with a more natural remedy first, before moving on to the big guns.
Most people likely think of rodents such as mice and rats as a household pest more than a pest you might find in the garden. While they are definitely more comfortable in one’s home, they are also quite capable of making themselves a nuisance in your garden.
This is most commonly seen when your fruits and vegetables are nearing harvest, because the rodents will recognize this as an easily accessible source of food, and there is rarely anything to stand between them and your plants should they decide to feast on them.
There are a couple of things that you can do though. The first is to think about placing rodent baits around the garden.
You will want to be careful though as many of these products can be harmful to pets and humans if they are accidentally exposed to them. Therefore you should always protect the bait with rat bait stations.
These products will keep the bait out of the hands of unwary children but still allow the rodents easy access to the poison. Using bait like this will definitely keep your garden free of this nuisance and ensure that all your fruits and vegetables survive until they get to your dinner table.
Get Rid of Bugs in Your Yard
The sunny days of summer, along with warm summer evenings, provide the perfect setting for outdoor entertaining. As summer descends, more and more people are getting ready to head outside for backyard get-togethers, parties and barbecues.
Anyone who wants to entertain guests in his or her yard will need to create a comfortable, fun setting to maximize guest enjoyment. To get the most of out of backyard gatherings during the summer, use a pump sprayer to spread insecticide and kill the bugs that can bring down the mood of even the best party. Such sprayers offer a safe, effective solution to pest problems.
What is the Best Choice?
Every homeowner has many choices when it comes to pest control. Getting rid of bugs before a big barbecue or pool party is a great way to ensure that guests have a great time without getting bit by pesky mosquitos, flies, and gnats.
Citronella candles and bug zapping lamps have long been popular means of insect control. Unfortunately, these methods only go so far in discouraging insects. Guests who wander away from the immediate vicinity of the candle or zapper can be attacked by thirsty, annoying mosquitoes.
Personal bug sprays are also a great option for pest control, but they can wear out quickly. Some individuals prefer not to use such sprays because they can cause irritation to the skin, lungs, and eyes.
Party hosts also can’t count on the fact that guests will have used bug spray prior to coming to a party. As a host, it’s necessary to control the bug population with an effective, long-lasting solution. Such solutions are the only way to ensure that guests can enjoy a party without the hassle of insects.
Many individuals who want to control backyard bugs choose to hire exterminators or pest control professionals. While such services are generally effective, they can also be very expensive.
The costs of extermination chemicals and labor can add up quickly. In a tight economy, many consumers simply cannot afford to hire the services of a professional exterminator. Thankfully, these individuals can use an insecticide pump sprayer or fogger to eliminate bugs and clear the way for great outdoor get-togethers.
The All-Inclusive Effective Solution
Handheld foggers and sprayers are very easy to use. Individuals simply load such devices with an insecticide and spray or fog the area that they wish to eliminate pests. Sprayers tend to be very small and portable.
They are easy to clean and store, making them an ideal solution for the homeowner or renter who is running short of space. These sprayers are available at a variety of retailers. They tend to be quite inexpensive.
The chemicals needed for use with handheld sprayers and foggers are available at many discount stores, garden stores, and home improvement centers. Individuals who use such sprays should remember to purchase adequate eye, nose and mouth protection to prevent irritation while spraying or fogging.
Many individuals enjoy using such sprayers and foggers because they can be kept at-the-ready. A last-minute party can be kept bug free by a quick spray of the yard.
Mosquitos, flies, and gnats can ruin even the best outdoor gathering. Consumers who are looking for a long-term, easy-to-use solution for pest control can rely on handheld sprayers and foggers. These handy devices can be as effective as professional extermination services at a fraction of the cost.
Read also: How To Get Rid Of Bugs On Hibiscus Plants
How to Keep Gophers Out of The Yard
Gophers cease being cute when they begin wreaking havoc in your landscape. Because of their extensive digging and reproduction, a gopher problem can quickly get out of hand to create untold damage in your gardens and lawn.
Colorado State University provides information and helpful advice for managing a gopher population in a yard. With a firm understanding of the animal’s behavior, how it reproduces and the damage it can inflict in your landscape, you’ll see how important it is to keep them away. Although it requires time and effort, keeping gophers out of the yard will ensure that your plants and landscape areas remain healthy and vibrant.
Gophers eat roots, grass, plants, shrubs, and trees in the landscape. Gophers use their front legs and teeth together to move dirt out of the way to create tunnels underground. As gophers create the tunnels, they deposit the extra dirt onto the grass above the soil level. Gophers are solitary animals and they will live alone in one tunnel system.
Left unchecked, gophers can destroy a lawn, kill trees and create extensive damage in a garden. In the wild gophers can be beneficial to the soil because the help aerates it and fertilize it with their waste.
A gardener or landscaper has several options for keeping gophers out of the yard.
Underground Nets or Screens
Install an underground barrier around a planting area to keep gophers from digging tunnels under your plants. Both nets and screens can install into the ground to prevent gophers from having access to specific areas. Make sure to install the nets or screens at least 18 inches below the soil surface for the most effective barrier.
Raised Garden Beds
When you place plants in a raised garden bed or plant boxes, you prevent gophers from disturbing the roots of these plants. Gophers digging under the soil of a raised bed should not affect the plants.
Gophers do not like grain plants because they upset their digestive tracts with too little nutrients. Create a buffer strip around planting areas by planting grain in a 6-inch strip. When gophers detect the grain, it will repel them away from your plants. Another idea – create a buffer strip of plain gravel at least 6 inches wide. The lack of roots in the buffer strip may deter gophers from digging.
Several different animals are natural predators of gophers. If you attract these animals to your landscape, they may help you by controlling the gopher population. Barn owls will nest near your landscape if you provide them with nesting boxes. Gopher snakes will readily feed on gophers to eliminate them. In addition, coyotes, cats, and dogs may also hunt gophers for you.
Gophers may have an aversion to some strong-smelling plants such as garlic and onions. Plant these plants as a barrier around your planting areas.
For the most effective gopher control, utilize a combination of these landscaping tactics. With tenacity and effort, you should be able to keep gophers out of the yard or at least reduce their numbers to control the amount of damage they inflict on your plants.
Read also: Pest Control Going Green
5 Ways to Keep Pests Out of Your Home this Winter
As we begin to prepare for the cold winter season, pests and different types of animals start their preparations as well. Unfortunately, this may mean that they will try to seek shelter within different areas of your home. As the fall grows near, you may notice that rodent activity in and around your home beings to increase. As winter approaches, this activity may become more visible.
Pests that make their way into your home or even around the perimeter of your home can cause a great deal of damage. This may include property damage, electrical damage from chewing on wires and can spread diseases through their droppings. By taking advantage of pest and termite control services as well as these top 5 tips, you can help to keep pests out of your home this winter season.
Checking Your Windows and Doors
One of the easiest ways for rodents and other pests to enter your home is through windows and doors. You will want to evaluate each window and door within your home to ensure that there are no cracks or openings. Pests only need a small amount of space to be able to squeeze through an opening.
You will also want to make sure that there are no tears in your window and door screens if you ever plan on leaving them open throughout the season. Seal cracks around windows and doors with caulking or easy to use foam and place weatherstripping on door sweeps.
Look around at the air vents found throughout your home. Many vents are meant to have holes in them to properly circulate air throughout your home. However; this can be a place where pests may enter your house from. Place screens over your vents to keep pests out this winter.
Keep any landscaping that is found near your home trimmed back as much as possible. Rodents and pests look for spots close to the house to hide such as in bushes and gardens, waiting for a door to open so that they can sneak inside. Control your landscaping to keep pests away.
Cracks in Walls
Evaluate the outside of your home for any holes or cracks. Even the smallest holes enable pests to sneak through them. Seal up all holes and cracks to take care of your pest problem in no time.
If keeping out the pests is simply not working, you can easily control the problem by setting up traps in different areas of your home. Place glue traps in your attic, basement and in kitchen cabinets to take out the enemy.
Read also: How Pests Affect Our Health