Once you have a beautiful garden growing and you’ve retired for the night seeing that all is well, it can be frustrating when in the morning you find that some of your plants have been near eaten to the stock. “By Gum!” you exclaim. Right?

Well, the garden is green and lovely and good for eating as far as insect pests are concerned so here are some ideas to drive the little pest out. Insects are very good in your garden as long as they do not leaf-eating beetles or root devouring larvae or… you know what I mean?

As your garden systematically eliminates places where bugs can live and multiply so that you can help prevent a problem from occurring. Some bugs live under leaves and debris on the ground and some live in the soil. Anything you can pick up and put in the compost pile, which should be at least some distance from your garden, will help. That means old leaves, weeds any chunks of wood or plastic just anything that isn’t growing. If you have bare earth areas in your garden a little two tined rototiller to break up the soil periodically may help reduce pest and disease.

Garden Care when The Plant is Dormant

In February or March when foliage is gone and plants are dormant, you can treat your garden with dormant spray, used to keep destructive insects and diseases under control. The spray can be ineffective if you do not properly apply it so make sure you read the label on the package and get it right. Wear protective clothing and gloves when applying any chemical.

I know of one guy who went into the garden and just spread that dormant spray around without much regard for anything, with the hopes of doing some good. Killed the whole garden that  I’ll never do that again.

Learning Harmful Insects from Good Ones

If you are a real garden enthusiast you have probably already learned the harmful insects from the good ones but if you are in doubt put unknown species in a jar and head to the local superstore garden department. Those folks teach the employees about different bugs in the area. If you don’t live near one of those you can research the internet or go to the closest library. A local nursery is often where I got the best information when I had a customer with some pest or fungi that I didn’t know how to eradicate.

Garden Problems Caused by Birds

Another problem you may have in the garden is birds, used to be when I saw birds in my garden I ran outside and chased them away with a loud noise… then the police came and took my gun away. Much to the relief of neighbors. Nowadays I use a sophisticated method. I put bird feeders on the other side of the lot. Hey, I enjoy the birds and they eat well but not my fruit. Birdfeed can be expensive though. You can buy fake owls and post them at the corners of your garden and also hang various flashing shiny objects from nearby trees and bushes to help keep them away. You won’t eliminate the problem but they will eat less of your crop.

Pests that are Hard to Get Rid of

Three other pests are really hard to get rid of and that is gophers, moles, and rodents. Of the three I have had the most success with rodents using tracking powder and I am not sure you can get it from the local superstore, but you can get baits and traps. Be very careful with poisons if you have pets it would not be a bad idea to have them somewhere else the first few days of eradication as stumbling poisoned rodents can be irresistible to pets, with disastrous consequences.

I have never dealt with gophers and I have had unsatisfactory success against moles. One lady I know had a pest control company tell here that the moles were eating worms and to get rid of the moles you had to spray the yard every week to kill all worms. I told her I’d rather have some molehills than a toxic yard. She had little children too, but she went with the spray.

Sorry, I can’t advise on moles or gophers you may need to call a specialist. Even as a licensed pest control operator with special poisons for moles. The best treatment I ever saw were traps that you can get at the superstore. Traps are a hassle but safe, effective, and environmentally friendly.