Insect Control

Insect Management Tips to Protect your Garden

Garden pests are unfortunately a part of gardening but they need not be too much of a problem if you keep them under control. Following are a few hints and tips on how to do just that.

Your Garden’s for the Birds

Birds consume a huge number of insects so attracting them to your garden is not only going to give you birdsong but it will also help to control your insect pests in a very environmentally friendly manner. Purchase a couple of bird feeders from your local Mica store and hang them in your trees in such a way that cats cannot reach them. Don’t forget to add a couple of peaches and other fruit every so often.

Catapult Them Away

You can stop the neighbourhood cats from using your garden as a litter box. Just scatter coffee grounds and orange peels liberally about and they’ll start using someone else’s property as a toilet.

Foiled!

Cutworms, which are nocturnal caterpillars, make their presence know by way of newly planted seedlings lying on the ground with their stems having been eaten through. The cutworm chews through the plant stem just above ground level. It prefers seedlings and delicate young plants and will also attack fruits such as strawberries. You can use an insecticide to get rid of these worms, or, for the more environmentally aware, you can cut the bottoms out of polystyrene cups or yoghurt containers and push them gently into the soil, 5 to 10mm deep, as a barrier to deter cutworms. You can also sprinkle pieces of onion around the stems as cutworms don’t like onions. Some gardeners suggest using strips of kitchen foil about 70mm wide and 200mm long, encircling the stem, with the ends being secured by folding them over. With the base buried in the soil, about 5 to 10mm deep, the foil forms an effective barrier and is easily removed later.

Be Anti, The Environmentally Friendly Way

The first step when it comes to ants, is to sort out anything that may be attracting ants in the first place – keep containers tightly sealed; don’t leave scraps of food on a counter top; clean up thoroughly after you have been making sandwiches etc. You can also try any of the following…

  • Track the ants back to their nest and destroy it with a few litres of boiling hot water. If they keep coming back, repeat this again and again and maybe increase the amount of water that you use as some nests go a long way underground.
  • Ants follow each other by smell so put vinegar around the outsides of window ledges to eliminate the trail that they are following.
  • Put some whole bay leaves on the windowsills and also sprinkle white pepper over the surfaces.
  • Ants apparently also do not like cucumber peelings so grind up a few in your blender and sprinkle them about strategically.
  • Finally, sprinkling baby powder on surfaces that ants may use, could well deter them.

Why Waste?

Flat beer is great for getting rid of snails. Snails like the taste of beer. Leave a large jar, with some flat beer at the bottom, in the garden. This will attract the snails which will go up the side of the jar and down into the beer.

Shopping List

  • Bird Feeders
  • Insecticide
  • Strips of kitchen foil (70mm x 200mm)

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