Your Summer Stand-off With Garden Pests

With summer in full swing I bet your garden is looking mighty nice. Flowers, vegetables, trees, and shrubs all make for a hospitable place to hang out—especially for pests. But here’s the unfortunate fact; in the summer pests get bigger and slimier. When it comes to uninvited alfresco dining in your garden there are basically three types of pests:

  •  Animals: Deer, rabbits, gophers, and just about any rodent looking to fill its belly
  • Insects and bugs: Aphids, weevils, ants, beetles, and all the usual suspects
  • Invertebrates: Worms, snails and slugs (oh my!).

So how do you get rid of them? Well, you could politely ask them to go away and never come back, but in my experience that’s never worked. Honestly, you just can’t reason with a slug.

The next line of defense is to try some easy, inexpensive tricks that have been handed down by gardeners for generations. If your garden pest infestation is not too great, you may be able to control pests with one of the following solutions:

Companion plantings There are plants and shrubs you can plant in your garden that deter unwanted pests. Interspersing those sturdy soldiers in and around your garden is called companion planting. For example, marigolds, nasturtiums, mint, radishes, onions, basil, and even catnip all have a pungent odor that repels most common insects. In fact, anything with a “stinky” leaf or root works wonders at keeping away even large pests, such as deer and rabbits.

Homemade sprays And speaking of stink, you can concoct your own odorous solutions that discourage just about any pest, big or small. In approximately two cups of water boil garlic cloves, onions, red pepper flakes, hot peppers (like chipotles), or any combination thereof, for about 5 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth, put the resulting solution in a spray bottle, and squirt your plants with it. Animals and insects will find somewhere less stinky to dine.

Coffee grounds Coffee grounds are great for composting, as they add nitrogen and good acids to the soil. But the unexpected benefit is that slugs and snails HATE coffee grounds, as do most insects and even deer. True, your garden might smell like a Starbucks, but at least your lettuce won’t be half eaten by the time you harvest it.

Copper Slugs also can’t stand copper. So now might be a good time to adorn your garden with those cutesy copper lawn ornaments. Or better yet, use copper tape, wiring, mesh, or sheets to make rings around your plants. It’s like creating a mote that slugs won’t cross.

Bloodmeal Garden-variety bloodmeal is actually dried blood from meat packing plants. Even though it’s been processed it still smells like blood to animals (such as deer, rabbits, and rodents). And as such they’ll steer clear of it because they associate the smell with predators.

Motion sensor sprinklers Sometimes called scarecrow sprinklers, the mere presence of an animal in your garden triggers these sprinklers thus scaring off pests with a squirt to the face. The downside is that kids and pets can also set them off, so you might consider turning on these sprinklers only at night (when most animals come out to feed).

Of course NONE of these options is guaranteed. If your own homegrown pest control attempts don’t work you can always call Admiral Pest Control to come out and do the job for you. Our trained technicians can assess the situation and prescribe the best solution for you, whether you have kids, pets, or other considerations. Admiral Pest Control has been keeping homes and gardens pest free for 65 years. So chances are whatever your garden pest problem entails, Admiral Pest Control has encountered (and solved) it many times over.

So don’t let pests hold your garden hostage. Call Admiral Pest Control today…because negotiating with a snail is a very time consuming and frustrating experience!