If you want to get rid of pests in your garden or home, you can always get an insecticide at your local store. It may be a harsh chemical that you don’t want in your home, though. You might prefer to use natural insecticide. If you do, you can prepare your own.
Deer and raccoons, rabbits and gophers, moles and chipmunks! They capture your heart when in a book or zoo, but when they invade your garden. Oh! That’s a different story. Yet how can a rabbit resist munching on your crisp lettuce? Or a possum or raccoon stay away from your sweet corn patch? And your berries will always be attractive to a squirrel.
Fending off the various animals that want to enjoy both your flower and vegetable gardens can be both time consuming and frustrating. Learning how to chase them off without poisoning both them and your vegetables remains a crucial part of being a good gardener. As scientists begin to realize the damaging effects of pesticides and other poisons on the human body, the use of toxic methods needs to be carefully considered, and then rejected.
Birds are a bird-watchers delight and somewhere between a mild and major nuisance to the gardeners. They actually do less harm than the four-legged animals. Birds have a number of natural enemies, so you can scare the birds by fooling them into thinking their enemies are around.
A humming line made of very thin nylon will vibrate and hum in even the slightest breeze. Itís inaudible to us, but heard by the birds. This works well with strawberries. Unusual noises can be created with aluminum pie plates loosely tied to stakes or leaving a radio on at night. Installing some blinking lights, hawk-like balloons or kites that mimic larger birds can also be effective. And of course, the two old stand-by’s scarecrows, or a dog or cat always help out with the bird problem. Because birds and other animals need a source of drinking water, eliminate any standing water near the garden.
Night time is prowl time for the four-legged pests. Each animal has a distinctive footprint and each has its favorite delicacy to munch on. Many of them, such as deer and raccoons, can be eliminated by putting an electric fence or other barrier around the garden. Pocket gophers can be stopped by putting a fence made of hardware cloth two feet below and two feet above the surface of the garden.
A chicken-wire fence works the best for rabbits, but the holes need to be 1in or smaller. Those young rabbits aren’t very big. To keep the mice from eating your fruit tree’s bark, sink wire mesh or hardware cloth several inches into the ground around the fruit trees.
How can you tell which animal is doing the munching during the night? Footprints are one way. Another is to place about 10 marshmallows out in one spot where the animal has been feeding. Cats won’t eat the marshmallows. Raccoons and skunks will eat all of them in one sitting.
Possums will only eat one or two, and then come back later for another one. Some animals will only be eliminated by being caught in a trap. After they are caught be sure to take them at least one mile away and release them in a natural habitat. And, be careful not to get bitten. Rabies is a reality among wild animals.
Gardening saturates one with a feeling of accomplishment and peace. The joy of picking your fresh vegetables right before dinner can hardly be matched by any other activity. Well, perhaps the fragrance of your freshly picked flowers can compete!
10 Beneficial Insects For Gardening
1. Aphid Midge: These insects look like a delicate, small wasp. The larvae eats more than sixty varieties of aphids from the garden. You can attract them by growing plants with a lot of pollen and nectar.
2. Big-Eyed Bug: This is a fast-moving bug with large eyes and very small black spots on itís head and thorax. They are usually found in field crops and orchards. The big-eyed bug eats leafhoppers, spider mites, plant bugs, aphids, and small caterpillars. This bug is a real asset to gardening.
3. Ladybug: The ladybug ranges in size from 1/16 to 3/8 inch and have round red, orange or yellow bodies with black markings. They prefer gardens that have a large amount of pollen and nectar-producing flowers. The ladybug is fond of aphids, mealybugs, small insects and scales. The Mexican bean beetle is related to the ladybug but is not beneficial.
While tending to my own garden, I have found that one of the most frustrating things that can happen to a gardener is to walk outside to check on your plants. It’s just a routine walk to make sure that your garden is thriving, but you end up finding holes in all of your plants
that looked fine only hours before. The explanations for some of these plant-destroying holes are garden pests. Some of the main garden pests are slugs, worms, caterpillars, birds, snails, and the occasional gopher. Although you can never wipe out these pests entirely, after all your hardwork in the garden you have to do something.
You can get the better of grubs, though they’re among the most damaging lawn pests in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans spend millions of dollars a year replacing the lawns that grubs destroy. They’re small, white insects with a brown head curled into a “C” shape.
White grubs live a few inches under your lawn and feed on the roots of your grass. Grubs are the larvae-or “juvenile” stage-of various kinds of scarab beetles, including Japanese beetles, chafers, and June and May beetles.
“When grubs are close to the surface, starlings and crows, as well as moles, shrews and skunks, can be seen digging them up because they’re a food source,” says Bayer Advanced; lawn expert Lance Walheim, who wrote the book “Lawn Care for Dummies.”
When damaging insects attack a tree or shrub, pest control by an ISA Certified Arborist may be required. It’s important for homeowners to know the signs of some of the most destructive insects in the Philadelphia area. The experts at Giroud Tree & Lawn share the Top 5 Damaging Insects that homeowners need to look for right now on trees & shrubs.
Eastern Tent Caterpillars
There’s no mistaking these creepy crawlies by the signature tent-like webs, which are constructed in the crotches of tree branches. Eastern Tent Caterpillars have a taste for a wide variety of trees, so homeowners need to be on the lookout in spring time for signs of an infestation.
Not only are the webs unsightly, Eastern Tent Caterpillars can severely defoliate a tree. Defoliation will weaken the tree, making it more susceptible to invasion by secondary pests and diseases. Treatment for these caterpillars is most critical early in the season.