Creating a beautiful garden you are proud of is something that can take time and effort.
Seeing that garden destroyed by unwelcome pests is the last thing you want.
Lets examine some natural pest control methods for your garden that can stop this unwanted problem.
Ok so what is a garden pest?
A garden pest is any living organism that can cause damage to planted crops or lower the quality of the soil in a garden. Common garden pests include caterpillars, aphids, slugs, ants, flea beetles and moles.
How Pests Destroy Your Garden
Garden pests are considered to be among the biggest threats to farming alongside bad weather and invasive weeds. Here are some reasons why:
Pests such as caterpillars and beetles have a voracious appetite for foliage. They will eat their way through almost any leaves or fruits standing in their way. Such pests can completely destroy all your crops in just a few weeks.
Garden pests reproduce very rapidly. Some are known to lay hundreds of eggs in a single life cycle. You may only have a small window of opportunity to deal with an emerging pest problem before they multiply and go on a rampage of destruction.
Pests can make a complete mess of your garden. Seeing your beautiful backyard garden slowly turning into a hideous sight filled with bare stems and crawling creatures can be heartbreaking.
This article will look at natural pest control methods, but if you want a quicker summary you can watch the video below:
How To Prevent Those Pests!
The first thing you need to do when confronting pests is to make your backyard almost uninhabitable for pests.
Doing this will reduce the likelihood of garden pests moving into your backyard and save you the trouble of having to deal with them later on.
Here are some handy tips on how you can discourage pests from migrating into your backyard:
#1 Keep Your Garden Tidy
Pick up old plants, fallen fruits and all other organic debris lying on your garden as soon as you can. Organic material piling up in your garden will provide food and a convenient shelter for harmful bugs.
If you don’t have a compost pit, use a garden fork or a spade to bury the organic material in the ground. This will make it harder for insects to access the organic material and add nutrients to the soil as well.
#2 Practice Crop Rotation
Each garden pest has a specific type of crop that it loves to feed on. Growing the same crops on the same spot each season will encourage pests which love that particular crop to establish a permanent habitat in your garden.
Growing a different type of crop each planting season will disrupt the breeding cycle of any pests that might have invaded your garden and help to keep their population in check.
It is that easy!
#3 Discard Infected Plants
Perform routine checks around your garden for any crops that are badly infested by pests and pull them out before the pests spread to the rest of the garden.
After you have uprooted such plants, ensure that you do not leave them anywhere near the garden, not even in your compost pile. Garden pests can survive for long periods even on a dead plant.
The infected plant may also contain larvae and eggs which may hatch and cause more trouble when you least expect.
Four Simple Natural Pest Control Methods
There are several chemical pesticides that you could use to eliminate all pests from your garden in one go. However, using synthetic pesticides might end up doing more harm than good in the long run.
To begin with, such pesticides will indiscriminately kill all bugs in your garden including beneficial animals such as earthworms. Furthermore, synthetic pesticides often contain harmful chemicals which are highly toxic to both humans and the environment.
A better alternative would be to use natural pest control methods which are just as effective as chemical-based pesticides without the harmful effects.
So let’s dive in:
Here are some natural pest control methods worth trying out:
#1 Hand Pick Large Pests
Most garden pests tend to be completely harmless to humans. You can easily hand-pick large pests such as caterpillars and slugs and discard them far away from your garden. This is a very effective way of getting rid of unwanted guests from your backyard without hurting them.
A bit squeamish?
You can use a pair of garden gloves if the thought of handling live bugs with your bare hands sends shivers down your spine.
#2 Let Other Bugs Do The Job For You
Some of the animals crawling and flying around your garden are actually not interested in eating your crops.
Animals such as ladybirds, honey bees, dragonflies, praying mantis, hover-flies and spiders feed on harmful garden pests and help to pollinate flowers.
And the best part?
If you allow these beneficial animals to continue living in your backyard, they will help to keep the pest population down without ravaging any of your precious crops.
If you can’t spot any beneficial bugs in your garden, you can bring them in yourself. They are available for purchase online or at gardening stores either as fully grown bugs or as unhatched eggs.
#3 Use Fly And Maggot Traps
Fly and maggot traps are very effective against small pests such as insects and aphids. These traps contain sweet-smelling fragrants and bright colors which attract insects.
Any insect landing on the traps will get stuck onto the sticky surface. You’ll only need to place the traps on top of the infested crops or around the boundaries of your garden.
#4 Organic Pesticides
Organic pesticides can be used if all of the methods mentioned above fail to achieve the desired result.
These pesticides can be used on crops meant for human consumption such as fruits and vegetables without any health risks. However, some of the pesticides marketed as organic products may in fact contain harmful chemical additives.
You will have to carefully examine the labels to find out exactly what is contained in the pesticide before you purchase it.
And don’t forget:
It is also advisable to confirm with the seller whether the pesticide is actually effective against the kind of pest you wish to get rid of, and how long you’ll have to wait before you can safely consume the treated crops.
Follow these tips and you should keep garden pests to a minimum.
Want to learn more about natural pest control? You can find further information here:
Steve is a one time gardening hater turned into gardening obsessive. This was all thanks to going to University where a two year stint spent transforming the previously horrific garden of the student house he lived in left him addicted to all things horticultural! Now with a new house in tow and due to some fortunate circumstances he is free to test out a whole host of gardening equipment. Find out more about Steve or drop him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.