How to Get Rid of Bad Bugs Without Hurting Good Bugs
Stop us if this has happened to you: the sun is shining, you break out the garden furniture, and maybe a sweet treat or two, and boom—you’re swamped by dozens of insects like the plague has descended. We’ve all been there.
There’s no greater feeling of satisfaction for a gardener than seeing a plot full of perfect flowers or vegetables, but many garden bugs use our flowers and vegetables like their personal salad bar. It may be tempting to get rid of them with pesticides, but you don’t need them to kiss those pests goodbye. The good news is that you can have a beautiful garden free of pests by following these simple, cost-effective strategies. Read on for our insect & pest control tips.
Tip 1: Prepare Your Soil
Believe it or not, good soil can effectively deter pests, but it will take proper preparation. Here’s how you can get your soil ready:
- Landscaping services providers suggest tilling in organic matter like compost when the growing season starts. This will keep your soil clean by adding natural elements that help keep bugs away.
- Cover your garden with black plastic or cardboard for 6 months. The heat generated underneath it will kill most garden pests and their eggs, as well as weeds, parasites and many other harmful microorganisms.
- Lightly cultivate your soil after removing your covering of choice.
Tip 2: Add Good Bugs
Not all bugs are bad; ladybugs, for example, can be invaluable in your fight against garden pests because they eat aphids, mites, and the eggs of many destructive insects. Other beneficial garden bugs include praying mantises, lacewings and parasitic wasps. You can usually purchase good bugs from horticultural supply companies, which can also advise you of how many you’ll need depending on your garden’s size.
Tip 3: Keep Weeds Under Control
Weeds compete with your plants for valuable resources like water, light and nutrients. They also often harbor insects and parasites. Removing weeds, faded blooms and fallen leaves is important because decaying plant matter is a breeding ground for fungus, garden pests and diseases. Carry a small bucket with you during garden and lawn maintenance and use it to collect litter. Take your time pulling weeds and their roots completely out of the ground, or hire a company that provides affordable landscaping services, as well as insect and pest control in your area.
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