Gardening is an arduous process. And after all the blood, sweat, and tears, the last thing anyone wants is for their crops to fall victim to pests and infestations. Pest control is an everlasting battle between man and mother nature, for as long as you’re growing fresh crops, there will be opportunistic critters looking to take advantage of your efforts.
Types of Garden Pests
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of an infestation is bugs. You’ll want to watch out for:
- Japanese Beetles
These tiny pests will eat their way through leaves and budding fruits, emaciating your crops to the point that they can’t be saved. Aphids can be sprayed right off with a hose, and are also the prey of ladybugs. Caterpillars are the prey of birds, so a pond or birdbath near the garden can be a deterrent.
The Japanese beetle is a bit tougher to get rid of. You can pick them off by hand, but for overall pest control, you’ll want to use some kind of pesticidal spray. Look for a spray that’s not harmful to your crops or to your health.
Slugs and snails are attracted to dark areas where they can hide, like mulch, ashes, or loose earth. If your garden is messy, they may find their way in. You can drown slugs in heavy liquid like beer (in a saucer around your plants). You can also use snail baits, or even copper strips, which hurt the snails and drive them away.
Grasshoppers come at all hours of the day and all times of year. Grasshoppers, however, are another prey of birds, and even snakes. Mesh netting can be effective at keeping grasshoppers at bay, but even then, smaller ones can make their way through the mesh, rendering it obsolete. This is another situation that can sometimes call for pesticides. Don’t worry, if that’s not your cup of tea, there are plenty of organic options that are safe for plants and animals alike.
Last week, while sitting on one of the best ceramic garden stools I own, I noticed a deer chewing away in my garden. Larger animals and even some birds can pose a risk to your garden, too. Keep an eye out for:
And, depending on where you live, there can be many others!
Unfortunately, a fence is oftentimes not enough to keep these rodents at bay. Chipmunks, for example, won’t eat everything in your garden, but they will tear up your soil and your root base, thrashing your crop from below. Fencing itself needs to be deeply dug into the ground, and even then, you’ll need to use repellent.
The same goes for rabbits, raccoons, and skunks. Burrowing creatures are hard to combat unless your garden is planted in raised, fully enclosed planters above the ground. Crows, however, are very smart animals. It’ll take a distracting material like reflective Mylar tape or a noise-maker to scare them off.
Deer, on the other hand, won’t be able to get over fences of a certain height. If your yard is enclosed by a tall fence, your garden is safe. But if it’s not, then you’ll need to diligently apply deer repellent to your garden. Additionally, you can keep blocks of salt far away from your garden to try and attract the deer somewhere else.
For more great tips on how to manage a great home garden, check out our blog and our featured products from Garden Kneelers Club.