After planting seedlings and carefully tending to their every need, you might feel a personal attachment to those brand new plants. Unfortunately, if you haven't done your part to prepare your garden, you might be sending your budding babies into a dangerous situation. Pests like earwigs, bean beetles, aphids, and termites can quickly destroy fresh crops—transforming your carefully planned garden into a wilted mess. Fortunately, you might be able to tip the scales in your favor by doing a little prep work ahead of time. Here are two ways to protect your flowers, vegetables, and trees from harmful pests:
1: Solarize the Ground
Wouldn't it be nice if there was an easy, ultra-effective way to kill off pests in your soil—before you take the time to plant your garden? Although it might sound like a method out of a science fiction movie, ground solarization has been used since the early 70s to eliminate weeds and soil borne pathogens.
During ground solarization, a layer of thick, clear plastic is stretched over the ground, and then the edges are buried. Sunlight can enter through the plastic, but the heat it trapped between the plastic and the ground—heating the entire area. Although it might not seem like an effective way to ward off pests, solarization can heat the top 12-18 inches of soil upwards of 140 degrees Fahrenheit—killing nematodes, bacteria, fungal infections and hidden pests. Believe it or not, because solarization works as a general biodical treatment, it mimics the efficacy of fumigation.
In addition to being incredibly effective, ground solarization is also very easy. After you leave the plastic sheet in place for 4-6 weeks, you can simply remove the covering and start planting. This method works well for people who don't have a lot of time to dedicate to yard preparation, but who want to improve the health of their soil before the season starts.
2: Create an Insecticide Barrier
Although ground solarization sets the scene for a healthy garden, it won't do much to keep new bugs from discovering the area. Fortunately, your exterminator can help you to create effective insecticide barriers throughout your yard to make your plants less attractive. Here are a few options you should explore, and how they can protect your place:
- Larvicide: Flying insects like moths, mosquitoes, and flies can be hard to control once they start buzzing around your yard. Fortunately, you might be able to nix them early by asking an exterminator to apply a larvicide to their breeding grounds. Larvicide work by penetrating the delicate outer shell of newborn bugs, destroying the pests before they hatch into adulthood.
- Residual Treatments: After your exterminator has targeted bug breeding grounds, ask him to apply a residual insecticide to target traveling bugs. Some residual powders stay in place for six months to a year, clinging to pests who cross their paths. For example, you might choose to have a residual insecticide placed around the perimeter of your garden, keeping termites, spiders, and beetles at bay.
- Tree Injections: Trees can become a breeding ground for harmful pests that can make their way into your garden, which is why it is important to protect them with pesticides too. However, sprayed pesticides can wash away in the rain, which is why tree injections are so beneficial. Instead of applying pesticides to the outside of the tree, professional exterminators can inject pesticide into the xylem of the tree, where it can make its way throughout the entire structure.
Once insecticide barriers have been created, you can relax and enjoy your beautiful garden without worrying about waking up to a disaster. Contact pest control companies for professional assistance for your garden as well.