You’ve spent months – possibly even years – ensuring your garden looks the way it does. And as anyone who spends a lot of time mowing their perfectly-manicured lawn will tell you, it isn’t an easy job to ensure a garden looks pristine all year round.
There are weeds to contend with, bushes to trim down and new flowers to plant. So, we feel your pain and frustration when pests move in and threaten to stamp all over (and quite literally, too) your hard work.
From black garden ants to flies, wasps and larger pests like mice, insects and creatures like this are almost always a hindrance when it comes to your garden.
So, what can you do? With pests, it isn’t as simple as dealing with the existing problem. You may have to put a longer-term plan in place to ensure you don’t just rid your garden of pests like rats, wasps and ants, but that they don’t come back, too.
To help you, we’ve put together this convenient guide to safely – and humanely – dealing with those seasonal pests which seem hell bent on spoiling your very best efforts in the garden.
Your Garden: Understanding Seasonal Pests
Which pests can blight your garden? We’re bringing you a quick rundown of the kind of little critters and creatures you should be looking out for, not just in your garden but in and around your home, too.
The fact is, different seasons equal a brand new selection of pests. We can already hear you whooping with delight. Joking aside, here are just some of the pests you should be looking out for and at what time of year:
Noticed a few more ants, flies and cockroaches around your garden? It must mean spring is here! If you let them, these critters will infest both your home and garden and can also prove a real pain to get rid of, too. The best thing to do is keep an eye out as the spring months roll round, dealing with the problem as quickly as possible – and before your prized plants get it!
You may notice a few more flies than usual during the spring months, but an infestation can also be down to bad housekeeping, too. Are you, for example, dumping rubbish bags in your garden when your wheelie bin’s getting too full? Nipping the problem in the bud early – or ensuring you don’t do anything to provoke an infestation – will help you in the long-term.
The most common type of ant, black garden ants can be found in gardens and homes here in the UK – and the earlier you can tackle the problem, the more chance you’ll have of waving goodbye to the problem in general. Generally, ants like this are quite hard to remove with conventional pest control products you can buy from the garden centre, which means it really is worth your while to use a pest control company as soon as you feel you need to call in the experts.
Summer’s the time you should be really enjoying your garden and, of course, the fruits of your labour. There’s no point putting in all that hard work during winter and spring if you’re not going to be able to sit out and really make the most of your well-maintained lawn or abundant rose bushes and plants.
So, we can imagine a pest infestation will be the bane of your existence. It isn’t easy to see months of effort go to waste due to wasps and birds, but that right there is life!
Here’s what you should be looking at for in your garden this summer:
Are gulls becoming a pest in your garden? The good news is there are a number of safe and humane ways to deal with them. After all, do you really want these birds – which are generally spotted during the summer months – making a mess of your garden?
A key culprit in the world of pest control, wasps are more often than not found during the summer. You might find an infestation in your garden shed, on trees or even on furniture like plastic tables and chairs – not good during those summer barbecues.
Often, wasps will hide in lofts or wall cavities in the home – but while this may seem like a daunting prospect, it isn’t for our skilled team of pest control professionals. It’s recommended that you seek the help of a professional to help you remove a wasp nest; doing so yourself could put you or your children at serious risk.
Moving on through the year now to autumn. The leaves are falling from the trees and the temperature’s becoming slightly cooler – the perfect time to get out into your garden. Or so you thought!
Say goodbye to days spent tending to your rose bushes; if your garden’s newest inhabitants have anything to do with the comings and goings of things, you won’t be doing anything in your outside space. They’ve made themselves comfy – and they’re going nowhere.
So what should you keep your eyes peeled for in your garden in autumn?
Mice and moles will be on the prowl, while fleas and bedbugs might prove a pain you could do without, too. The fact is, your garden isn’t safe, no matter what time of year it is. Stay alert and you’ll stop an infestation before it even occurs.
Here’s what to look out for:
This is when you’ll need to worry! Spot these little (or rather, quite big) pests and your garden might be in for it. There are six varieties of mice in the UK, with one of the most common being the ‘house mouse’ – have you spotted them, either in your house or outside of it? If you do, there are a number of humane ways to deal with them, including laying a trap and then letting the mouse out into a nearby field.
A predominantly rural pest, moles will damage plant roots and make land unstable – if you only give them the chance! You’ll know you have moles if you discover molehills or raised piles of soil in your garden – one of the most obvious signs of an infestation!
Does your pet have fleas? They can be an absolute pest to plants and will need to be eradicated, from both your indoor and outdoor areas, as quickly and safely as possible.
As the winter months set in, so do the rats – and they’ll certainly make themselves right at home in and around your property.
Rats! They’re busy little creatures during the winter. Did you know; the female rat can birth up to eight pups per litter? While you can remove rats from your home yourself, we certainly wouldn’t advise it. Instead, we recommend you seek the help of a company like Speedy Pest Control, who will know how to eliminate pests safely and humanely.
Natural Pest Control Options in the Garden
It’s likely, that in dealing with pests, you won’t want to resort to drastic measures. Here are a few natural options to consider first.
These vibrant red and black insects, known as Ladybugs to our American cousins, look lovely and offer a host of benefits for your garden, too. Helping to keep other pests away, the ladybird is a useful little insect to have around.
So, how do you ensure you attract more ladybirds into your garden? It’s one of the biggest wishes of the organic gardener – and it’s with good reason.
The ladybird will help eliminate pests like mites and aphids, so getting them into your garden should be your first port of call when tackling any creatures or critters you don’t want hanging around.
Ladybirds need insects and pollen in order to survive. What that means for you, then, is the more you encourage these two things in your garden, the happier the home you’re creating for any visiting ladybirds.
Try adding Angelica, Calendula, Chives, Caraway, Dill, Fennel, Feverfew or Marigolds to your garden. Ladybirds love these almost as much as they like eating bugs like aphids, so consider what you grow in your outside space.
If you want to attract more aphids to your garden (you know, to help out the ladybird population!), you’ll want to add early cabbage, radishes and nasturtiums – the aphid’s favourite – to the areas you’re worried about.
Where possible too, limit using insecticides. What using these kind of products will do is kill ladybirds along with any harmful bugs.
Instead, build ladybird houses to provide shelter for these colourful insects, as well as placing shallow plates of water around the garden for them to drink out of. If you need to, you can buy ladybirds online to add to your garden and get the ball rolling, as it were.
Twilight hours are the best time to release the ladybirds onto your lawn or plants; let them go in one place and make food and water readily available as you do so. For as long as you can easily attract ladybirds to your garden, you’ll be deterring other pests at the same time.
Few of us like spiders when they’re in our home, but if you see one or two outside of your property think yourself lucky. A beneficial predator to have around the garden, the spider plays a key role in keeping your outdoor space clear of other pests.
So, how exactly do spiders control other insects that enter your garden? While you might not believe it, studies show they are one of the most valuable insects to have around – outdoors, that is. And guess what? They’re more efficient at controlling – and helping eliminate – other pests than birds!
The spider will go after everything from aphids to leafhoppers, caterpillars, grasshoppers and flies. You really can put your trust in this usually-feared critter; some pests will scarper when they know a spider’s in the vicinity!
They will well and truly do their bit when it comes to protecting your garden, capturing insects in their intricate webs. With that in mind, don’t be tempted to destroy a web you see in the garden. Instead, leave it be – those spiders you once dreaded are actually doing you a favour by hanging out in your flowerbeds.
How can you attract spiders to your garden then? Start by companion planting flowers among your vegetables. Tall plants like sunflowers are very much a favourite of these eight-legged creatures, so think carefully about what you add to your garden.
Of course, if the spiders migrate inside, that’s when they’ll cause a problem. Keep an eye on situations like this and call in a pest control team if you need some help eradicating the infestation. After all, some spiders are known to bite – not a good idea if you have small children in the house!
You can effectively get rid of spiders in the house and there’s a few ways in which you can do so:
Keep Firewood and Logs Away from Your Property – Begin by cleaning up leaves and other debris from your garden or yard, trimming any trees and shrubs that are in the way of your home.
Seal Any Visible Cracks – Noticed a crack in your windows or doors? Make sure you seal these – and fast – so as not to inadvertently invite the spiders in for a mini break. Do doors and windows fit tightly into their frames? Keep an eye out for tears and holes and see to them immediately.
Too Much Clutter – Spiders love an untidy home, so reduce or eliminate any unnecessary piles of papers or boxes to reduce the chance of an unwanted infestation.
Once spiders have moved in, what should you do? Here’s a few handy hints that’ll see you right:
Water Will Do It – Spray or sprinkle water onto the exterior of the home to remove any spiders nesting there. You don’t necessarily have to use the most powerful of hose pipes; a simple watering can should do it with minimum fuss.
Always Check Boxes Entering Your Home – Remember those boxes of clutter we talked about before? Every time a new one enters your home, check inside it to see that any spiders aren’t in there waiting for free entry into your property. If that’s the case, free the creatures outside your property and preferably in your garden!
Want to get rid of flies? Before you try anything, give an indoor fly trap a go. Simple to use, these are generally sold in packs of a few traps and they’ll catch flying insects thanks to a transparent strip of sticky paper. The paper will contain a natural attractant and this is usually an option that’s easy to use and contains no pesticides too – result!
You could also try this 100% natural fly parasite spray, which will sort out the problem for less than £10. After all, wouldn’t you rather give this a go before you try anything that’s potentially more harmful?
Here’s another natural idea to get rid of flies: mix a tablespoon of olive oil and a few drops of non-toxic dishwashing soap into some water. Now, simply add to a spray bottle before giving it a good shake. Once done, simply just your plants from the top, down. Smothering the insects, the oil will sort out the problem in no time.
Want to try something else? Eucalyptus oil is known to be a good natural remedy for getting rid of flies. Apply it to a small cloth and leave it in an area of your garden affected by flies; you’ll soon find that area of your outdoor space is now very much fly-free. Herbal sachets are a good idea, too.
Bugs Buggin’ You?
For other bugs around the garden, try this remedy suggested by Ideadigezt.com. Simply mix one part garlic juice with five parts water. Add the mixture to a spray bottle and spray onto cotton balls, before leaving in affected areas.
Again, try a natural option before anything else. If you only have a few molehills, start by flattening them out with a roller. This will also discourage the moles from coming back for another go at your plants.
One of the cheapest and most readily available natural pest deterrents is the humble egg shell. Particularly good if you have an issue with snails and slugs outside, egg shell can be sprinkled – in small pieces – near to where these pests like to relax.
How does it work, though? It’s quite simple, really. The sharp edges of the shell deter slugs when it comes into contact with the sensitive foot of this dreaded garden pest.
If you’re considering breeding chickens and poultry, you’ll essentially be stopping slugs from entering your garden in the first place by making use of their eggs – cost-free and effective!
Are ants a problem in your garden? If so, try this: just apply boiling water to an ant nest. This will disrupt the nest, which you can then simply spray with insecticidal powder. Well worth a go in the first instance, but if this doesn’t work, only the professionals will be able to help.
Why Should You ‘Go Professional’ When it Comes to Pests?
Think about it; do you really want to tackle that pest problem on your own? For one thing, you might not have the right tools for the job. The most important thing to ask yourself, though, is this: ‘is it really safe?’
While you might think DIY pest control will save you money, if your pest infestation is a large one, it’ll be more convenient to simply call in a pest control team like ours.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. We know what signs to look at for – and some things are always best left to the professionals. Pest control firms have years of experience identifying and eradicating pests, so why put your limited knowledge to the ultimate test. Do you really want to make the issue worse?
The fact is, professional pest control is rarely as expensive as you thought it’d be. And companies are equipped to recognise everything from a colony of ants to a well-concealed wasps’ nest. They’ll also have the problem sorted within a matter of hours. With custom removal vans, the dedicated team will see to your infestation quickly – and they can even identify pests that you might not be able to see!
More than the cost associated with any given pest control job, though, do you really want to have a potentially dangerous infestation on your hands? Never assume, for example, that homemade protective gear will keep you safe – and don’t forget: some insects and pests carry bacteria and can therefore bring unwanted disease into your home. Are you sure it’s really worth it?
Of course, there’s always a lot you can do to prevent pests entering your garden in the first place – and the remedy is simple: don’t create a breeding ground for them in the first place.
By ensuring fantastic, liveable conditions for insects and creatures like flies, spiders and mice, you’re actively encouraging them into your garden and giving them free reign to do what they like to your plants in the process.
Professional Remedies for Those Pesky Pests
Sometimes, try as you might, natural methods of pest removal just aren’t going to cut it. So now it’s time to call in the professionals!
How can a dedicated team help with all manner of pests? Looking at some of the key pests in your garden and home, we’re letting you in on how a professional team would handle them to ensure your home life is harmonious and your hobby for gardening is restored!
They’ll begin by making use of a variety of pest removal methods to deal with moles, from traps to mole catchers, which utilise vibration – something moles are particularly sensitive to.
If the company in question needs to, they might try gassing with Phostoxin or Talunex, both of which don’t leave behind a harmful residue on the soil.
Got a cat? He or she might singlehandedly (or paw-ingly) help keep down an infestation, but if that doesn’t work how else can a pest control company help? Poisons and traps are just two ways you can remove an infestation effectively, but this method might only be suitable for a smaller problem.
If ants are a problem, a professional pest control company can come in and get the job sorted within the day. They’ll always tackle the issue humanely and safely to give you the peace of mind you’re looking for.
To tackle larger issues, a pest control company will make the most of other, more powerful methods which will get the job done as quickly and in a hassle-free way. In doing so, they’ll always work safely around children and pets – it’s an absolute priority.
Want some help or advice? Get in touch with the team at Speedy Pest Control today, who will be more than happy to lead you down the right (garden) path when it comes to remedies for pests.