If you’re an avid gardener, then it’s quite likely you’ve faced off against one of the most fearsome pests that most people will ever encounter – common garden pests.
There are a number of little insects, mammals, and birds that have a predatory nature to them, and they can damage your garden to some extent. In this article, we’re going to talk about some great ways to manage their presence in and around your home.
Starting with beneficial insects and getting all the way to DIY fumigation, we’ve got quite a lot of ground to cover in this article. So, settle down with a pen and paper, and get ready to take a few notes on the best ways to deal with the problems you’re facing.
There are a number of beneficial insects in gardens and homes throughout the UK, with perhaps the most surprising insect being spiders!
Okay, we know that spiders aren’t technically insects, but they’re very close. Spiders in the UK eat a large volume of insect pests each night, and they’ll never harm plants, either. This is one of the reasons why a number of farmers don’t worry about spiders – they will eat aphids, for example, without damaging the plant itself.
The majority of pests in the UK are insects or insect-adjacent creatures. Typically, you might expect to see ants, slugs, snails, and worms throughout a garden.
The truth is that all of the insects in your garden exist in a strange balance with one another. The worm, for example, keeps the soil of your garden alive with bacteria. Eventually, it will die itself, potentially when eaten by a bird, or it may be eaten by scavenging insects.
The problem of pests comes when insects and other creatures in your garden upset the balance to some degree. For instance, one or two slugs in a garden make for great bird food. Too many slugs, though, and you can say goodbye to your leafy greens.
Young plants are typically at a more intense level of risk than older plants because their outer layer hasn’t hardened sufficiently to protect them.
A classic example of this can be seen by comparing the difference between the bark on an old oak tree, and the soft skin of a new-growth oak sapling.
In your garden, you might see this during spring, when plants could be damaged by insects eating away at them while they’re too small to survive such an attack.
Common garden insect pests
Perhaps the most common garden insect pest is the aphid. They are small, green insects that like to live on the stems of flowers and veggies, eating away at the nutrients flowing through the flesh of the plant. Affected plants will often begin to wilt and die, leading to a much-reduced crop.
There are a number of natural predators of the aphid, thankfully, with the most well-known being ladybirds. Allowing a few ladybirds into your garden can help to keep aphids away for a long, long time.
How do I keep rodents out of my garden?
The simplest way to control rodents in your garden is essentially the same as most garden pests – remove the food source.
If you can see that rats are eating a lot of bird seed that you might leave out for birds, then consider simply leaving less out for the birds. Then, the birds will get their fill, and there will be none left for rodents.
What is the most common garden pest?
Slugs and snails are among the worst offenders. They’re well-known for laying eggs in pot plants, as well as eating through growing plants and munching at bulbs and stems.
Our advice for managing slugs and snails is to leave out dried chilli flakes – they’re cheap, affordable, and non-toxic to pets. On top of that, they work! The spice deters slugs and snails very effectively.
How do I stop pests from eating my vegetables?
To be entirely truthful, the most likely method to succeed in this case is to use a physical barrier, rather than natural pesticides or chemical pesticides.
The reason for that is that a physical barrier is something much more permanent than the other options, as well as being much less likely to be damaged by general weather.
Controlling pests in this way is very effective, and is the reason for a number of physical pest control methods you see in the world.
What is good natural pest control?
As much as it’s not fun, naturally picking insects off plants is the most natural and effective way to reduce the number of pests. The reason that it’s so effective is simple – the bug cannot be on the plant if you’ve grabbed it and dragged it away.
Also, this has no chance of damaging the plant itself as controlling pests with a spray might. To spray plants is an easy and effective method, but it can have unintended consequences.
What is used in organic pest control?
Generally speaking, predatory insects are the most common method of organic pest control for the organic gardener.
The reason for this is that it’s easy to introduce and encourage a population of, for example, ladybugs, into your garden. After they’re present, they’ll function as beneficial insects, keeping plant bugs away from your crops.
What is killing my vegetable garden?
This is quite hard to say for certain, but once you’ve eliminated reasons such as soil deficiency or poor seeds, you might be able to define the damage through the style of damage being done.
For instance, caterpillars will naturally bore small holes through fruit and veg. Snails and slugs, however, will scoop small chunks out of the flesh, like a tiny ice cream scoop. Consider how the crop is damaged, and you may be closer than you think.
How do you make organic insecticides?
A great organic insecticide is one that uses the powers of several natural ingredients to bring the pest problem in your garden down.
We like the method of combining a cup of vegetable oil and a tablespoon of mild dish soap. Add two to eight teaspoons of this mixture to a quart of water, and spray or water the plants with it. This will suffocate bugs quickly without damaging plants.
What is a natural method of pest control?
Some great natural methods of pest control, aside from deploying the natural predators of a certain pest to manage them, include the use of plants and herbs to deter pests.
A great example of this is in the use of lemon and lavender-scented items to deter cats and other scent-driven creatures. The natural smell of lemons or lavender plants deters a number of creatures since it’s so intense.
How do you make natural pest repellent?
A good pest-repellent recipe combines the properties of oil and the scent of either lavender or lemon. This is why the quick recipe we wrote about above uses oil and dish soap.
The oil sticks to the bugs in a fine layer, suffocating them. The dish soap, however, provides a scent to deter further insects from coming into your garden.
What can I use for homemade pest control?
Some great options for homemade pest control are scented plants. For example, oregano and parsley are intensely aromatic, meaning that a number of bugs get overpowered.
Bugs ‘see’ through the use of pheromones. If that is disrupted through the use of heavily aromatic plants and herbs, a great deal of difference can be made.
This is the same concept behind pheromone traps, which interfere with a bug’s natural sight, leading to them being trapped and dying.
Which is the most environmentally friendly method of insect control?
The most environmentally friendly method of insect control is to introduce native insect species to infested plants. For example, ladybugs will do a world of good for an aphid-coated tomato plant, and increasing the ladybug population in your garden will be good for native biodiversity.
What is the best DIY insecticide?
The recipe we wrote above under ‘how do you make organic insecticide’ is the best option for a DIY insecticide. The ingredients themselves are cheap and plentiful, and there’s not a thing in the mixture that could damage any of your plants.
What is the best organic bug spray for vegetables?
Honestly, despite the fact that we keep referring back to it, our DIY recipe above is the best organic bug spray. It will kill bugs that are already on plants, and it will deter other insects from coming to your garden whatsoever.
What are natural control methods?
Natural control methods are general methods of reducing pests in your garden, such as cabbage moths or flea beetles, without introducing artificial chemicals into your garden.
For instance, a great example would be the oil of an oil spray to suffocate bugs instead of tracking down a bug spray for tomato plants that are made in a factory.
Can I do pest control on my own?
Yes, you certainly can! Throughout this article, we’ve shared a number of great tips that can help you to control the number of pests within and throughout your garden really easily.
Don’t be fooled into buying expensive insecticides, there are a number of other options that will work well in your home that you can easily create and use yourself.
Is vinegar good for garden pests?
Yes, vinegar can be great for pests, and white vinegar especially. Dilute it by half in a spray bottle, and spray liberally over plants. This shouldn’t affect the pH of your soil, but it should be very upsetting to any soft-bodied insects that absorb moisture through their skin.
What is a natural method of pest control?
A natural method of pest control is a method that doesn’t involve the use of chemicals or physical means beyond what you could do yourself.
For instance, it would be natural to physically pick flea beetles off a tomato plant, while it would not be natural to spray a tomato plant down with a potent insecticide.
How do you fumigate a room naturally?
The process of fumigation essentially serves to replace the air in a room with an oily vapour. You can recreate this by spraying essential oils and water over fabric before allowing the spray to dry. This will allow you to remove pests quite easily.
For a more traditional form of fumigation involving literal smoke or poisonous gas, there is no typically organic format. The reason for that is that the gasses and powders used are almost always man-made, thus making the whole process non-organic.
We hope that this article has given you a wealth of information that might help you to understand the best ways to control any and all pests within your garden. Any pests can be a real nightmare, especially when you’re trying to grow your own, but it’s important to consider that you’ll easily be able to manage them if you just remember a few key tips.
The festive season is a time of joy, warmth, and decorations. As we deck the halls and trim the tree, it’s essential to consider the often-overlooked threat that lurks in the most unexpected places – your attic or loft.
Here at Shield Pest Control, we are pleased to announce that our business has become an approved pest control service provider for Peartree Cleaning Services across multiple sites within the United Kingdom.