Every yard will eventually face pest problems. Caterpillars stripping leaves in your new vegetable garden and fungus that causes root rot in flowers and shrubs are only a couple of examples of the extensive damage that pests can cause. It can be tempting to use a chemical approach like Roundup to rid your yard and garden of pests, but organic methods can work just as efficiently, without the harm that chemicals present to your family and the environment.
Simply put, organic methods of pest control are healthier for your yard, you and your family, and the environment. When chemical pesticides are used, there is a risk of exposing children and pets and contaminating groundwater and sewer systems with chemicals. Organic pest control methods aren’t just safer, they provide a boost for the whole yard by both stopping pests and ensuring healthy soil for a long-lasting, beautiful yard.
The difference in pest control methods comes down to the compounds and methods that you can safely use in and near your garden and yard. Hand-picking pests from your plants and keeping birds in your yard will work, but these methods are relatively slow and not always consistent.
Here are a few pest control methods that are safe and effective for your yard:
Beneficial insects - Encourage predatory insects like ladybugs, praying mantises, and ground beetles as a natural way to take care of many common pests that plague gardens and yards. If these insects aren’t naturally present in your yard, you can buy them and release them to wreak havoc on pests.
Predators - Birds such as ducks and chickens are very effective against pests. Bats, for example, are one of the best ways to control mosquitoes - a single bat can consume over 600 mosquitoes in just one hour! Entice bats to your yard by hanging up bat houses and planting flowers that bloom late at night.
Row covers - The thin, mesh-like fabric that row covers are made of can be used to keep pests away from rows of plants. They let sunlight pass through with ease and allow for good air circulation, while stopping harmful critters from getting to your flowers or shrubs.
Fences - If built correctly and sturdily, fences will discourage larger pests like rabbits and deer from trampling your yard and eating vegetables and shrubbery. While this option will be the most expensive, it also adds a nice decorative aesthetic to your yard and can even increase your home’s value.
Homemade pesticides - Chile pepper spray, garlic spray, and tomato leaf spray are organic and healthy ways to repel and control pests with strong odors and naturally occurring chemicals.
Insecticidal soap - Made with animal fats and plant oils, insecticidal soap is an effective method that is safe to use on plants. Common brands include Safer Soap and Garden Safe. Insecticidal soap can also be made at home if you prefer a more natural solution.
Typical pests that are encountered most often in Massachusetts include cabbage worms, squash bugs, and mosquitoes. Control cabbage worms and squash bugs with row covers and, if you don’t want to attract bats to your yard, fight mosquitoes with garlic or onion spray. Ladybugs will take care of aphids and praying mantises will feed on caterpillars. These organic pest control methods will keep your yard healthy and vibrant and family members happy to be outside for years to come.
If you are battling a pest problem in your yard and need assistance to find the right solution, contact the experts at Moodscapes today for help getting this issue under control. We’ll help you come up with a plan for pest control, and for yards with an excessive pest population, can refer you to specialists who are certified in integrated pest management.
Moodscapes LLC is an organic landscape design and service company with a focus on helping you extend your life outdoors to enjoy activities on your own, as a family and with friends. We create opportunities for you to commune with and find joy and peace in nature and to live in an ecologically friendly and healthy environment. Please explore our landscape services and the portfolio that demonstrates many examples of our work.