The best way to prevent pests from nosing into your garden is to plant pest-resistant plants. You also can keep them out of your garden by planting a hedge or fence, or by placing a row of stones along the perimeter.
Pests come in many shapes and sizes. They can be insects, like ants or beetles, or animals like raccoons or skunks. Some pests are even microscopic, such as bacteria and fungi.
If you have already had pests, then try these methods:
- Plant marigolds. Marigolds are among the most effective deterrents against many types of insects and nematodes (tiny worms). They also have a pleasant aroma that deters some pests.
- Use insecticidal soap. This natural substance kills many pests on contact, including aphids, leaf miners and scale insects. Spray it on plants in early morning when temperatures are cool and humidity high for greatest effectiveness and least harm to beneficial insects.
- Keep your garden clean. Remove any dead plants, weeds and other debris that could attract pests. If possible, keep the area around your garden free of leaves and other organic matter that might attract rodents or other pests such as cockroaches or flies.
- Don’t store food in your garden shed. While it may seem convenient to store extra bags of fertilizer or seed packets in your shed, this is an invitation for rodents and other animals to move in and make themselves at home there as well. Instead, store these items inside your home where they won’t tempt hungry critters looking for something tasty to eat!
- Try neem oil sprays. Neem oil is derived from neem trees (Azadirachta indica) native to northern India and southern Asia; it’s an excellent repellent for many kinds of insects including aphids, whiteflies and spider mites
- Mow thick grass regularly so it doesn’t hide pests from view. This also helps prevent fungus diseases like powdery mildew from taking hold on your lawn’s leaves.