Termites in garden soil, among other potential pests, don’t just impose a structural threat to your house. It also brings damage to the foliage not to mention the fact that your yard might be the place fueling the infestation. Since this part is exposed to natural elements, both harsh and friendly, a variety of pests can seek sustenance on the thick foliage or hidden crevices. So how can you prevent this from happening? On this post, I listed some of the ways you can utilize to avoid mites and other pests from attacking your garden.
Always trim the foliage
Insect pests thrive best on lush foliage. The likes of termites can form an arboreal nest on top of undisturbed trees while some of the colonies could harbor beneath the bushes. These parts of your garden are like crawlspaces where the pests can find security from harsh natural and manmade elements.
Aside from trimming the excess branches on your plants, you should also avoid planting any foliage near the walls of your house. Such thing could prevent the spread of the infestation in the event of one. As you know, termites and other insect pests can use foliage as a bridge to get to the property.
Once you cleared the ground, make sure that your yard trees don’t have branches touching the roof of your house.
Mow the grass
Maintaining the height of the grass in your yard is almost of the same importance of trimming the trees. This will discourage some insect pests from harboring within the thick blades. However, some pests like termites in garden could be subterranean or harboring beneath the soil.
If you’re really bent on avoiding this pest, you can simply get rid of the grass and expose the gravel. This will not remove the risk of an infestation but it will make a huge difference. Exposing the gravel means disturbing the soil or easier absorption of pesticides.
This part is a matter of strict choice as grass adds an aesthetic value to the property.
Remove the trash from your garden
A pile of rotting leaves or any decaying garbage in the garden is the number one favorite spot of insect pests. Some termite types need moisture for survival and this pile of trash is the perfect go-to place for harborage. They will share this with other pests like roaches and rodents – such an unsightly setup for a garden.
Picking up the trash and sealing it in a bag for disposal is the easiest solution to this. Unleashing a bit of your inner gardener will save you from the threat of the pests. Besides, cleaning should be a regular thing. Letting the trash pile up before you act isn’t a good choice if you’re into preventing termites in garden.
Reduce the possible food source
Of all the risk factors, this is the most overlooked among homeowners. Pests thrive in your garden for two things: they find the environment suitable for harborage or they find enough food on your lot. Unfortunately, some gardens have these two characteristics that make the condition even worse.
Food sources could be the piled wood in contact with the ground, dead tree stumps, or even the old stack of newspapers you leave by the garage. You have to remember that some termite types don’t need moisture to start foraging on wood or anything with cellulose. If you’re planning to store these materials, see to it that it’s placed off the ground. You should also shake it off from time to time.
Let the natural enemies grow
Natural enemies like toads, ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and other organisms that feed off the pests should be left alone in the garden. Some of these insects are attracted to nectars so you might as well plant some flowering plants to keep the population of the pest in a manageable number. However, this won’t wipe out the entire colony of roaches or termites in garden.
Another thing that you should be careful about in letting the natural enemies grow in your garden is the risk of it becoming the next pest. Just keep it to a minimum while you employ other pest-repelling methods. If you’re intending to release commercially supplied natural enemies, you should consult a pest expert first.
Use physical barriers
In case you’re protecting some edible plants from pests, the use of physical barrier would be effective. This can ward of caterpillars and bugs that will try to eat off the leaves of your cabbage. Physical barriers could also be placed beneath the ground so the likes of termites have less chance of getting into the foliage.
Some pest control companies use granite chips along the foundation of the houses to prevent the mites from creeping in. These bits are heavy and unlikely to be pushed away by the insect pests. However, this is tricky to use as it needs to be well-packed with no spaces in between. Steel mesh is also a good pick if you want a higher success rate and a cheaper choice.
Choose the right plants
Sometimes, the pests aren’t really attracted to your garden itself but to the plants you planted on it. Termites in garden, for example, would love to harbor on undisturbed foliage but they will soon discover your house as a good source of food. Without the unkept foliage, you might have cut the risk of harboring termites on your property.
In case of bugs and other leaf-eating pests, you can plant those that have hairy leaves which the pests will find hard to munch. You can also plant some vegetables as long as you choose those that are disease and pest-free.
You don’t have to be a horticulturist to do this. A little research will serve you well.
Consider using pesticides
If you think that the previous tips won’t work for your garden, you can invest in pesticides for outdoor use. Some of the commercially available sprays are plant-friendly but you should be mindful when using it on edible ones. You can ask a pest control expert for the best choices, as there are chemicals specifically for soil or wood treatment.
The best start on using pesticides is paying for an initial treatment. This is appropriate for termites in garden as well as other insect pests foraging in your yard. Starting clean will make it easy for you to do the maintenance part. Follow up checks on the treatment will ensure the effectiveness of it. Just keep in mind that this could be a harsh choice for your plants.
Coffee grounds are the best alternative
Yes, there’s a way to ditch the chemical method! Coffee grounds improve the acidity level of the soil as well as the nitrogen content of it. This is best for certain plants while it also wards off insects that can’t stand its nature. Slugs, cats, and even some mites hate the chemical content of coffee grounds and it may dry them up when they are exposed to it.
If you don’t have coffee grounds available, you can go to the nearest coffee shop and ask if they’re selling their used grounds. Some will give it for free to their patrons who are into gardening! But before you dump a whole bag on the ground, make sure that your plants would stand the acidity levels.
Play the scent game
Large pests like rabbits and deer could be hard to deter with the use of means intended for termites in garden. This is where you can maximize the scent game. You can hang some tea bags scented with cheap perfume or leave soap bars within your garden. Try leaving a sofa outdoors with Irish spring soaps and no rabbits or deer would dare step on it. Even your dogs would hate it!
For bigger pests, you can do some tricky scent game. There are commercially available fox and coyote urine. The scent of these two substances will send big pests like rabbits raccoons, and possums running. This is due to the predatory nature of foxes and coyotes that will scare big pests.
While you’re using some of the methods I listed here, you can increase your shield against pests by utilizing baits. In cases of termites, there is a special container that you’ll bury under the soil which contains a mixture of cellulose and poison. This comes with a cap so your pets and kids have no way of toying with it.
You can leave this bait in your garden for long but you should check it from time to time to renew the poison mixture or to look for signs of an infestation.
In case of slugs that damage the plants, you can use copper meshes as a fortress since the slimy pests can’t pass through this.
Act on the first sign of infestation
There’s no best way to prevent an infestation than to act on the first sign of it. Do you see holes in your wooden fence? Look for termites or call an exterminator for a full inspection. There are many DIY methods you can utilize to contain the situation while you save for a proper treatment service.
Never dismiss any pest sighting as an isolated case. They might be harboring somewhere else in your garden.
Preventing termites in garden is as important as getting rid of other pests, big or small. Such act will save you from hefty rates and further damage from a variety of garden intruders. It’s not enough that you pest-proof your living space, you should also get out and do the same thing. Do you have something to add? Ping me below!