Summer might be the best time for our garden to burst into life, but it also brings with it unwelcome garden pests. If left uncontrolled, pests such as snails, slugs, caterpillars, and other small insects might threaten the hard work we have put into our garden in a matter of days. Instead of rushing to contain the damage, it helps to be proactive and take the initiative to prevent pests from attacking plants in our gardens.
To prevent pests from attacking our plants, we need to spray pesticides more often, build garden barriers using a fine net around the garden, plant pest repellent flowers, use a beer trap for snails and slugs, and keep the soil healthy. It’s best to keep the garden clean to avoid attracting pests.
That’s not all, as we still need to know about the safest over-the-counter pesticides for vegetables, how to make natural pesticides using ingredients from our kitchen, and how to attract beneficial insects that feed on pests, which we will learn in this article.
How Can We Prevent Pests From Attacking your Plants and Damaging Our Gardens?
We take pride in the work we have done in our gardens, and we’re often rewarded by a fully-bloomed garden come summer. But, unfortunately, while the colorful flowers and green vegetables in our garden might be appealing to our eyes, the beauty also attracts the wrong crowd in the name of pests that come crawling, looking to put our hard work to shame.
Pests are single-handedly responsible for most of the damage in our gardens, and what they lack in physical size, they make up for in terms of appetite.
These tiny creatures feed nonstop, and without proper control and pest prevention methods in place, we risk watching our gardens descend to barren lands we once had in our backyards. The following strategies will help to prevent pests from attacking plants in our gardens:
Spraying Pesticides is one known way to prevent pests from attacking your plants
Spraying pesticides is the easiest and quickest way of eliminating pest problems. The pesticide acts quickly, but it also leaves lasting effects, especially if sprayed on the soil, deters pests, and kills any that might contact the soil.
Pesticides can be harmful if ingested, and that’s why it’s best to take safety precautions such as:
- Wear gloves before spraying
- Cover our mouth and nose with a face mask to protect us from harmful fumes
- Rinse with a lot of water in case we accidentally spray our mouth or eyes
- Wash our hands after spraying
NOTE: It’s advisable to seek proper medical attention in case of effects such as stinging eyes, dizziness, blisters, or diarrhea after coming in contact with the pesticide.
An effective way to prevent pests from attacking your plants is to build Barriers
Garden barriers have proven to be effective in keeping pests away from plants. Since we want to keep all pests away regardless of their sizes, a fine net is a preferred garden barrier material to use.
The small spaces in the fine net of the garden barriers make it hard for insects like caterpillars and crawlers like snails and slugs to reach the plants.
We should start by placing a support system to act as pillars to hold the net in place. These can be small sticks or pieces of metal. They should be pressed firmly on the ground to prevent the net from collapsing.
We then set the net to form a dome around the plants but still leave enough room for the plants to grow. The trap we choose for this purpose should be durable and robust to last long enough. It should also cover the ground adequately to prevent pests from crawling underneath.
To prevent pests from attacking your plants, plant Pest Repellent Flowers around the Garden
Some insects, like Japanese beetles, tend to stay away from chives and garlic. Alternatively, we can plant pest repellent flowers around our garden to help keep pests away. Chrysanthemums and Lavender are great examples of flowers that contain insect-repelling compounds. We can also try Russian Sage since they have hair-like foliage that keeps pests away.
The essence here is to have these plants mixed in with the vegetables to maximize the defense against pests. It’s an excellent pest control method for those who are environmentally conscious.
If the garden is small to accommodate all the plants at once, we can opt to plant the pest repellent flowers around the garden to form a barrier and the vegetables in the middle. Still, it would be best to check on the plants more often if some insects managed to sneak past these flowers.
Use Beer Slug Trap to Deal with Snails and Slugs and prevent pests from attacking your plants
Snails and slugs can be as destructive as any other pests. The slimy mollusks are hard to detect since they prefer to feed at night.
Gardens with moist soil are more vulnerable to these intruders since they prefer such conditions to thrive. They’re most destructive to young plants, and they’re known to feed indiscriminately.
What is a beer slug trap and how can it prevent pests from attacking your plants?
A beer slug trap is the best non-chemical way of killing snails and slugs on the farm. Naturally, slugs are attracted by yeast in beer that they’re unable to resist, where they end up drowning in the beer and die. What’s great about this method is that we can make beer from kitchen supplies, making it an inexpensive pest control strategy.
Despite their effectiveness, beer traps have limitations such as;
- The traps have a limited range, so we’ll need to spread several traps around the garden
- We must replenish the traps more often since beer tends to evaporate fast
- If it rains, the beer might be diluted and cease to be effective
Prevent pest from attacking your plants by making this easy DIY cocktail
If there is no beer at home, or our moral conscious doesn’t allow having a beer around, it’s best to try the following DIY cocktail. It’s as effective as beer and will not compromise our beliefs:
|1 tablespoon sugar||1 tablespoon flour|
|1 tablespoon yeast||1 cup water|
Mix these ingredients and let the solution sit overnight before pouring it into small containers and spreading them around the garden. Make small holes at the top of the container, which slugs will use to access the beer trap.
If you want to learn more ways of reducing the numbers of slugs in your garden, Then the video below will show you exactly how.
Keep the Soil Healthy to prevent pest from attacking your plants
Soil composition is very critical to the general health of the plants in our gardens. Healthy plants can withstand the damage inflicted by pests without withering away and dying. Replenishing soil with compost and manure regularly will help improve the organic components (source), which will boost the overall health of the plants.
Pests tend to lay eggs deep in the soil where they lie dormant, waiting for winter to pass.
Such eggs will hatch to fully-grown insects in a matter of weeks during summer. White-grey root aphids and root maggots are the main culprits here. These pests are known to feed on plant roots which form the essential support to the plants. As a result, plants will start to appear weak and turn from green to yellowish.
What to do to prevent the eggs of pests from attacking your plants
The priority is to kill off the eggs in the soil before they hatch. Tilling the soil during summer before planting will expose the eggs. The next step is to spray the soil with a strong pesticide and let it sit for a day or two. Keep in mind that pesticides will not kill eggs until they hatch.
By spraying in advance, we will be targeting new hatchlings when they’re vulnerable and preventing any damage before it occurs. The best pesticide to use here is larvicide which helps to target larva immediately after they have hatched.
Which Over The Counter Pesticides Are Safe For Vegetables that can prevent pests from attacking your plants?
As a whole, all pesticides are safe for vegetable use, but their effectiveness will vary. For maximum and quick results, we should opt for pesticides that contain Neem oil, peppermint, rosemary, and soybean oil that act as repellents against pests. A high concentration of pyrethrum, preferably 90%, will get the job done.
It’s best to avoid spraying pesticides on plants during the rainy season, as this will only wash the chemicals away. Our top three best over the counter pesticides are:
This pesticide is harmless on fruits, vegetables, and a majority of garden plants. However, it has proven effective for controlling pests such as fruit flies, caterpillars, Colorado Beetles, and leafminers. It contains spinosad, which is an active ingredient known to kill many pests and insects.
Southern Ag Natural Pyrethrin
With 96% pyrethrin, this pesticide is deadly to any plant-eating insect. However, it’s also harmless to humans and animals and acts very fast. Therefore, we should expect results less than an hour after application and are best for controlling gnats, caterpillars, and mites.
Natria Neem Oil
Not only does this pesticide help to control and repel pests, but it also protects our plants from diseases such as mildew and black spot. In addition, it contains a high concentration of Neem oil, which has proven to work against most pests such as slugs, root maggots, and caterpillars.
Is Vinegar A Great Pesticide and effective from preventing pests from attacking your plants?
Vinegar has many applications and is not only limited to our kitchen use. It’s one of the best ingredients found in pesticides. Its acidic nature makes it deadly to many plant-eating insects and would work within minutes. In this case, we can use white vinegar to deter pests and insects away from our garden.
We prefer vinegar for contact-type pesticides, wherein it’s best to spray directly on the pests and insects that feed hard at night, like snails.
Its acidic nature can also cause harm to plants, and that’s why we must dilute it with water before we spray. We must dilute one cup of vinegar with one liter of water to make it safe for vegetables.
How Do We Attract Insects That Eat Pests that attack our plants In Our Gardens?
Attracting predatory insects that feed on pests is a great way to keep our gardens safe. Insects such as wasps, hoverflies, Praying mantis, lacewings, and ladybugs are incredible predatory insects. To attract them, we need to plant bright flowers like Marigold, Goldenrod, and Coneflower.
Having these insects around will help to reduce the pest infestation while keeping our garden buzzing with life.
Conclusion on preventing pests from attacking your plants
A bunch of hungry pests should not undo the work we put in our gardens. Instead, we should be proactive and adopt measures such as spraying pesticides, building garden barriers, plant pest repellent plants, trap them with beer traps, and keep the soil healthy to effectively control the pest infestation.
We must also choose pesticides containing huge pest repellents to keep these intruders away for good. Remember, when in a money cinch, vinegar is an excellent and go-to ingredient for making homemade pesticides.
With all this, you might want to look into knowing more tips that you might not have known when it comes to gardening! This article of ours covers 60 tips for gardening, and hopefully, there will be something there to aid you in your gardening journey.
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