How to Keep pests out of your garden
The preventative measures taken to keep pests out of your garden are equally as important as the upkeep of the garden itself, as pests and vermin can destroy a garden faster than it took to plant it.
The first step to safeguarding your plants is to know what pests are prevalent in your area. In the regions surrounding Charlotte, North Carolina, the typical culprits of vegetation destruction are moles, rodents, spiders, ants and termites, the latter two of which are typically found in increasingly large numbers as they live, work and breed in colonies.
Moles and Rodents
Moles and rodents become a nuisance because of the destruction they can cause on your garden, your home and to your health. The majority of what homeowners can do to combat moles and rodents is preventative in nature, including keeping your trees, bushes, shrubs and garden areas trimmed and off the ground, if possible, picking up fallen fruit and vegetation, removing areas or objects where water collects, and keeping any loose items that could be used as burrowing material in sealed containers.
Do-it-yourself traps, poison and sticky pads can be purchased from your local hardware store but are best utilized inside the domicile as opposed to in your garden. If you notice evidence of rodents in your yard, garden or home, it is often best to consult a local qualified pest control service to analyze the situation and remove or eliminate the nuisance.
Spiders, Ants and Termites
Gardens are a prime locale for spiders, ants and termites to call home. Leaves, fruits, vegetables and even mulch typically found in and around gardens provides food, shelter and collects moisture, everything these pests need to thrive.
Spiders don’t actually eat the plants themselves, instead they bite into the plant, injecting small amounts of venom (for digestion, similar to what they do for bugs and insects) in an attempt to feed on pollen and plant sap. Arachnid found in North Carolina are oftentimes more harmful to humans and pets than they are to your garden, but your garden is one typical place you might encounter these pests.
Ants and subterranean termites colonize in and feed on the nutrients and moisture of the garden itself. They can be harmful to the garden, humans, animals and the structure of your home. Ant and termite repellent and insecticide can be purchased from your local hardware store, but oftentimes affect the plants in your garden as much as they do the pests themselves.
To prevent ants and termites from invading your garden, remove foliage found on the ground, don’t utilize mulch in the garden (it helps soil retain moisture, which the insects need to flourish), avoid wood-to-ground contact, and control aphids in the garden itself (these pests love the honeydew produced by aphids!).
If you notice an ant or termite colony in or around your garden, it is best to call in a professional that knows how to deal with them without harming your garden.