- Keep a clean garden. Rake up old leaves and remove foliage that has dropped from the plant on the ground. Pest and eggs can remain in the plant waste.
- Observe your plants and watch for pest problems. Many pest can be removed from plants by a spray of water from the hose (like aphids) or can be hand picked off and destroyed like bag worms or japanese beetles.
- Try companion planting in your garden. This is where you plant a plant next to another plant that can provide certain benefits like being a insect repellent.
- Use beneficial insects in your garden like ladybugs, praying mantis or lacewings.
- Keep your plants and soil healthy.
- Select plants that are known not to have or have little pest problems.
I found that when I added ponds, bird houses and bat houses that many animals that feed on bugs came to my garden. I now have frogs, toads, birds and bats that feed on a large amount of insects, slugs, and snails reducing my pest problems. I also add praying mantis to my garden. Praying mantis are considered a beneficial insect. They like to lay their eggs on burning bushes. The egg case can contain hundreds of eggs and it is about the size of a walnut. The color is light brown. I remove them when I find them and store them in a jar in a cool place during the winter then move them into the garden in the spring. When they hatch they spread in the garden and start eating the pest. When you spray for insects, it normally kills everything including the beneficial insects.
I would like to hear your comments on controlling insect pest in the garden. Please send me your comments and share your ideas. I will post your comments pro or con on using pesticides.
The Creative Gardener