A garden is an ecosystem with different flora and fauna. Garden pests and insects are also part of it. Even though some of them help in pollination, some others can cause damage to your garden. As a gardener, you need to keep them under control to save your prize plants and your crop yield.
Through this article, we will walk you through the different types of pests you can spot in your garden. We will also investigate the various natural ways of removing them from your garden.
Types of garden pests
Pests can be in the form of insects, birds, or animals. They can act as parasites and destroy the plants. However, some of them can be beneficial for your garden. Here are different types of pests you can find in your garden.
Slugs are pests that can cause damage to your garden. You can find them during the rainy season.
These soft-bodied molluscs feed on leaves and create holes in them. They also consume bulbs and seedlings.
Slugs prefer to have the leaves of tomatoes, cabbage, and lettuce. Besides that, they leave a slimy trail, which attracts other slugs to your garden.
Snails are also a variety of soft-bodied molluscs. But the difference between snails and slugs as you already know is that snails have an outer shell.
They are climbers who prefer to eat buds. They also consume fruits as they turn ripe. Apart from that, snails create holes on leaves and also cause damage to roots.
Caterpillars like to munch on the leaves of the plants. They can quickly infest a plant if left to their own devices.
- Alder leaf beetle
Found in the spring season, alder leaf beetles feed on hazels and other deciduous garden trees. They thrive in moist soil and prefer to lay eggs on the leaves. The larvae would then consume the upper leaf surface, which would cause leaf loss.
These tiny pests prefer to have plant saps which lead to the destruction of leaves. They can result in mould growth in your garden. Aphids can also pave the way for viral diseases in plants.
When it comes to scales, you can find them on fruits and plants. They result in the weakening of plants and also cause the death of leaves.
The scales would leave behind honeydew on the fruits as well.
- Rats and Mice
When it comes to animals as pests, rats and mice are the most destructive rodents. These vermin can adversely impact your garden in different ways. They prefer to have ripe fruits and nuts.
Rats also dig the soil and munch on the roots of plants. When there are lots of waste in your garden, it attracts rats. So, it is best to clean your garden regularly paying particular attention to the area around your compost bins. Oh, how they love those!
Rabbits are cute, and most people love to have them. But they nibble on plants and cause immense damage to your garden. Rabbits would prefer to have your young plants.
Rabbits can create burrows in gardens. It can have an adverse effect if the soil is prone to erosion. The Pests Act of 1954 by the UK government views rabbits as garden pests that can cause damage to farms. They allow farmers to take measures to clear rabbits from their gardens.
When it comes to birds that act as pests, pigeons are the ones that cause a lot of damage to your garden. They prefer to have the leaves of different vegetables and herbs. Some of them include cabbage, cauliflower, peas, cherries, etc.
So cute, but so destructive to a nicely mown lawn! These creature lice underground, and pop up all over the place. you can easily tell if you have a mole problem – there are distinctive mounds of earth in your borders, beds and lawns. There are lots of ways to deter moles, but in my view, it is best to employ the services of a professional mole catcher, as many of the old wive’s remedies simply don’t work.
How to control garden pests using natural methods
When there are several pests in your garden, they would munch on leaves and destroy the plants. Even though there are several synthetic pesticides available, they can have a harmful impact. So, it is best to opt for natural ways to control pests. Here are some methods that you can adopt.
The main tip, (and probably the most obvious one) is to grow varieties of veg that resist pests. Check any reputable online seller, or catalogue, and these should be clearly marked.
- Companion planting
When there are different varieties of crops in your garden, it can reduce pests. Through this, you can create a natural habitat that includes good bugs. for example, plant a strong-smelling herb or some onions next to, or amongst your carrots, as this will deter the carrot fly.
Here are some herbs that repel pests, when grow among your vegetables:
Rosemary: Keeps slugs and snails away
Fennel: Use to repel aphids, slugs, snails
Sage: Good to have in your plot to keep many types of insect away
Dill: Potato beetles avoid this herb
Peppermint: Good for keeping ants way, also the cabbage moth
Tip: Use crop rotation, otherwise you will simply re-infect the same area, especially through soil-borne disease.
- Keep your plants healthy
Pests often target sick and unhealthy plants. So, you have to maintain the plants healthy by providing them with nutrients, moisture, etc. Using organic compost is yet another way.
Growing the plants in their season will also keep them healthy and remove pests.
- Create barriers
Obviously, you will want to keep rabbits etc. out of your plot. The use of something like chicken wire, dug into the ground to stop the little perishers – but if you have a large population of rabbits in your neighbourhood, you have a battle on your hands. Also use netting, etc.
- Harvest early
Pests prefer to have ripe fruits and vegetables for their lunch. You can avoid this by harvesting them before they are ripe completely.
- Use water to remove pests
When it comes to removing pests naturally, you can use water. Here, you can sprinkle water on the leaves. Add a little washing up liquid to the water too. Many people use a clove of garlic in them ix, by boiling it in a pan of water, then adding the washing up liquid.
- Grow in pots and containers
If you grow some of your veg in containers, lots of pests will find it difficult to attack them, as they are raised off the ground. Slugs and snails will also have an uphill struggle to get to your plants (excuse the pun) but of course that’s not fool proof. A determined snail will go the extra mile to get its meal.
You can also pick the pests with your hand and remove them naturally from the plants. And, use slug beer traps to get rid of those pests. By the way – if you have pets, I wouldn’t recommend using slug pellets. A neighbour put some pellets down, and our dog found and ate them, and almost died. Several hundred pounds in vets bills later, and she was never the same again.
- Grow wildflowers
By growing lots of wildflowers, you will undoubtedly attract the bus that will devour the nasty ones. Some ideal plants are as follows:
Dill, Yarrow, Sunflower, Cosmos, Sweet alysssum, Angelica, golden Alexanders (this grows along most country hedgerows)
Here is a great video by Peter that may help you to deter the slugs, and a very clever gadget that he has come across
Would you like to get some of these great traps as seen in the video? CLICK HERE to go to our shop and we will send them out ASAP.
These are some ways by which you can remove pests from your garden naturally. Through this, you can enhance crop yield and also preserve the environment.
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