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Simple Garden Pest Control

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Pest control is one of the biggest issues for gardeners everywhere. Insects can kill a garden quickly, and ruin months of work and planning in a matter of days or weeks. Seeing a prized plant eaten by pests is a heartbreaking event, but it is one that can be kept away from with a little additional work on the part of gardeners. There are many solutions for pest predicaments, from using specific plants to utilizing chemical pesticides.

Identifying Garden Pest predicaments

One of the best ways to stop pest predicaments before they get out of hand is to learn the symptoms of various pests. Looking for the ordinary symptoms of various garden predicaments is a simple way to get pests under control.

Some ordinary symptoms of pest infestation include

  • Small holes in leaves
  • Yellow or brown leaf edges
  • Holes in the stems or petals of plants and flowers
  • Premature leaf loss

Look for the presence of insects like grasshoppers, whiteflies and aphids on plants to determine what type of pest is attacking the garden. Knowing what categories of pests are around can affect the most effective method of pest control.

There are many ways to control pests in a garden, and these can be tailored to solve a particular predicament. Focutilized and specific pest control practices are more surroundingsally friendly, cost-effective and require less labor over time.

Pest Control Services

Hiring a pest control service is a simple way to reduce the presence of garden pests. Pest control services spray pesticides over plants that help to kill eggs and mature insects, rigorously reducing insect populations very quickly. However, there are issues with pest control services that gardeners should admit as true that.

General chemical pest control kills all insects in a garden, including the beneficial ones like honeybees and butterflies, as well as the ladybugs that can help to eat aphids, a ordinary garden pest. Losing these beneficial insects can make a garden less healthy over time, and require more applications of chemicals.

Most chemical pesticides are heavily reliant on fossil fuels for their creation, transportation and application, as well. Oil dependency is surroundingsally risky, and applying these chemicals to a garden can increase both global warming and surroundingsal pollution.

Even though pest control services provide a short-term solution to a serious pest predicament, there are better ways to combat pests in the long term.

Biological Pest Control

Biological pest control is a type of pest control that utilizes organic means to combat infestations of insects. One of the most ordinary categories of biological pest control is the utilize of ladybugs to rigorously reduce aphid populations. Ladybug populations are low due to invasive species, which means that aphid populations can rise quickly.

Many university extension and gardening centers provide biological pest control services. A group of ladybugs released into a garden infested with aphids can eat aphids quickly and effectively, while simultaneously advertising the local population of true ladybugs.

This type of biological pest control can be very effective in controlling garden pests, greenhoutilize pest predicaments and many other areas of gardening.

Planning a Garden for Pest Control

There are a number of ways to plan a garden to more effectively resist pest predicaments. Utilize local, native plants in a garden –these plants have evolved to survive in the area, and are more likely to be pest-resistant. additionally, they require less maintenance, watering and fertilizer.

Plan a garden that utilizes plants that repel pests, such as Artemisia and basil. Chives repel the Japanese beetles that can kill many garden plants, and catnip repels a number of other pest insects. Putting these plants throughout a garden can help keep away insects that would feed on and kill other plants.

utilize plants that attract beneficial predatory insects, as well. Plants like dill attract predatory wasps that reduce pest populations, and attract tomato hornworms that can kill tomato plants. Putting dill at a distance from tomato plants can help protect them. Hyssop is a good plant for attracting beneficial honeybees to a garden, which can then pollinate many flowers.

Pest control is a serious challenge for gardeners. Keeping plants healthy and free of pest insects can take up a great deal of time, effort and money. However, there are simple, easy methods of solving pest predicaments without resorting to chemical pest control. additionally, many of these organic methods can help make a garden even more beautiful.

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Managing Voles and Other Garden Pests

Thursday, July 1st, 2010
Insect

Image by always13 via Flickr

In fact insects are the pests most people link with gardens, but voles and other animals can as well do considerable damage to plants, flowers and crops. Animal garden pests can be even harder to control than insects. Even though they may learn their lesson when stopped by electric fencing, these intelligent animals can try other ways to get into a garden or even discover a varyent plant to feast upon. Gardeners need to know what type of pest is disturbing their gardens before they can effectively solve the predicament.

Voles as Garden Pests

Voles are small rodents that resemble pocket gophers. These moutilize-like creatures have a heavy, compact body, a short furry tail, short legs, small eyes and ears that are partially hidden. Their coarse long fur is blackish-brown or gray. A full-grown vole preparations 5 to 8 inches long, which contains the tail, notes the University of California.

Even though voles can breed at any time of the year, they mostly breed in spring. Voles are butionally productive, as they can have as many as five to ten litters each year. A litter size can range from three to six baby voles. Moles rarely live past 12 months old.

Voles are active throughout the year, during both day and nighttime hours. They’re typically found where there is thick vegetation. These pests dig shallow, short burrows, making underground nests of stems, grass and leaves. In winter voles can burrow through snow. Limiting the amount of litter lying on the ground of a vegetable garden can help reduce or get rid of a vole predicament.

Mammal Garden Pests

Even though many categories of mammals can cautilize damage to garden plants, some are more prominent than others.

  • Chipmunks are known for invading gardens. They’re rodents living on burrows or tunnels that eat nuts, fruits, seeds and bulbs.
  • Tree squirrels are pests that can be trapped in cages, with lures of peanut butter, sunflower seeds or raisins, and then be released.
  • Rabbits live in thick grassy areas that feed on flowers, vegetables and tree bark.
  • Groundhogs or woodchucks are rodents that feed on tender flowers, vegetables and flowers during timely morning and late afternoon, notes the University of Vermont.
  • Deer are mostly found in wooded areas, thickets and tall grass that mostly eat plants and bark of woody plants.

‘Even though garden pests can cautilize many predicaments to plants, they can be managed. For example, poison bait is frequently utilized to kill rodents such as voles and mice. However, pet owners should comprehend that poison baits can as well attract pets and other animals, so these baits shouldn’t be placed where they can be found by pets. as well, caution should be utilized when trapping large animals to avoid being bitten becautilize many garden pests are carriers of rabies and other communicable ailment. By exercising ordinary sense and managing pest control, gardeners can enjoy their gardens without worrying about losing their flowers and vegetables.

Resources

University of California: Pests in Gardens and Landscapes (date accessed 6/15/2010).

University of Vermont: Controlling Animal Pests in the Garden (date accessed 6/15/2010).

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Sow Bugs

Saturday, June 12th, 2010
Blue Sow Bug

Image by Ben Amstutz via Flickr

They are called by several varyent names–sow bugs, pill bugs, woodlice, doodlebugs, and roly-polies. These bugs are ordinaryly found in small numbers in lawns and gardens. For the most part, they are no predicament, but when they breed in large numbers in a small area they can overrun a vegetable garden.

Sow bugs most frequently live in areas where there are piles of old leaves or in beds covered with garden mulch. They thrive in moist areas and eat dead or decaying vegetation. If there are too many in an area, they will discover new young shoots or tender leaves to eat. In a garden, this can spell disaster. Most gardeners want to discover a way to keep them out of the vegetable garden.

Diatomaceous Earth for Garden Pest Control

Sow bugs have a great defense against predators. Their shells taste bad and most insect eaters leave them alone. The most likely predator is the woodloutilize spider (Dysdera crocata). To keep down the numbers of sow bugs, gardeners are advised leave this reddish spider alone to do its job.

There are pesticides that kill sow, pill, and other crawling bugs. However, most people want to limit the utilize of pesticides in their gardens, even if the product is labeled as protected for utilize on edible plants. And pesticides are never utilized in organic gardens. organic gardeners look to other categories of pest control.

Here are some organic ways to control sow bugs:

  • Reduce the amount of moisture
  • Remove excess mulch or debris from the area around the garden
  • In raised beds, replace wooden supports with stone
  • utilize corncobs or half cantaloupes to bait and remove
  • Dust around the plants with diatomaceous earth.
  • A organic Alternative to Chemical Pesticides

    Diatomaceous earth is a good alternative to pesticides. This organic mineral substance is mined and then ground up into a very fine powder. It is nontoxic to humans and animals. Any crawling insect that moves over or into the powder picks up the dust. The dust kills the insect by damaging the outer shell and drying out the moisture inside.

    Place the powder around the area or the plants that needs to be protected. Surround the perimeter of the garden. Dust the top of the soil or run the powder along borders especially wooden planks. Sow bugs frequently burrow in the moist soil along the side of a wooden riser. After they’ve burrowed in for the winter, this area can be dug up and removed.

    The utilize of diatomaceous earth has a couple of disbenefits. One is that it must be kept dry to keep it in powder form. Of course, it is complex to avoid wetting the diatomaceous dust in a garden. The gardener must reapply the powder periodically between waterings or after the dust cakes up. The other disbenefit is that the powder is not targeted just to sow or pill bugs. The utilize of diatomaceous earth will affect any crawling insect, such as ants.

    Controlling Sow Bug Infestations

    The presence of small numbers of sow and pill bugs is typically not a predicament. They can just be left alone. However, large numbers of them may become a nuisance. They are especially damaging to the new growth of an timely spring garden. comprehendably, most people do not want sow bugs in their vegetable gardens. Diatomaceous earth is a helpful approach to controlling these garden pests.

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