yard and garden free of unwanted insects like mosquitoes, ticks, ants, beetles,
slugs and stink bugs can be an endless battle. That's especially true in the
south, where the warm weather makes backyards a paradise for pests. But it
doesn't have to be such a struggle. Here are some patented and proven ways to
safeguard yards from creepy-crawlies.
Get rid of standing water
Mosquitoes aren't just irritating, they're dangerous carriers of Zika, encephalitis, dengue, and more. Does the yard have a bird bath? Pet's water bowls? Even if it's simply that rainwater isn't draining properly, this is all essentially rolling out the welcome mat for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes don't fly far from where they spawn, and without water, mosquitoes can't lay eggs, hatch, or molt. Simply deny them a breeding ground. Make sure any potted plants are properly drained of excess water, clear gutters of all debris (water can easily collect in there), and clean birdbaths or add a fountain to prevent the water going stagnant. If there is a pool, simply be sure the chlorine and other chemicals are maintained at the correct levels.
Keep an eye on firewood
Most people keep their firewood in the backyard,
which is a natural enough storage area. If the woods begins to rot, however, it
becomes a highly-attractive motel for pests of all kinds, inviting cockroaches,
termites, and all their friends--and their next stop will be your garden. As
soon as signs of decomposition appear, do not wait. Get rid of the firewood it
Employ natural scents
Some bugs don't like certain smells, and this is particularly true for ants. Cinnamon, both black and cayenne pepper, lemon juice, vinegar, lavender, mint and many more work as effective repellants. There are a variety of ways this can be used to an advantage--plant mint in the yard, mix cinnamon essential oil with water and use it as a spray for the grass, or simply sprinkle black pepper in the yard's trouble spots.
Food-grade diatomaceous earth
Many have never
heard of it, but food-grade diatomaceous earth kills any bugs it touches and is
one of the best solutions available for ants, bed bugs and fleas. Also called
D.E. or diatomite, this non-toxic, naturally occurring soft, siliceous
sedimentary rock can be purchased at Walmart. The "earth" is actually
the fossilized remains of a type of protist. It easily crumbles into a fine
white powder, which can then be sprinkled around your garden or any areas you
are concerned pests are entering your home. Food-grade diatomaceous earth will
dry out insects on contact and its microscopic edges will cut them, speeding up
Turn out the lights
The saying "like moths to a
flame" exists for a reason. While we don't want to eliminate too many moths--they
pollinate at night and can be important for maintaining healthy gardens--lights
in the yard will attract all kinds of other insects, one of the most notorious
being stink bugs. This tip is easy: if you're not using them, switch off any
lights in the yard, as well as indoor lights near windows. A dark house is a
house that's less attractive to many of these pests.
Of course, different solutions fit different types of pests, and not all of these fixes will work on every kind of garden-invader. Any comprehensive and permanent answer to a bug problem will involve a professional. At Breda Pest Management, our trained staff will methodically locate the source, eliminate or remove the bugs, and put up a defensive barrier to keep them from entering into specific areas, such as a bed of petunias or chicory. Regardless of what kind of pest is pestering you, we've got the skills, knowledge, and tools to deal with it.