There’s nothing worse than putting hours of work into your yard and gardens…only to have pests come in and wreak destruction on your handiwork.
If you find yourself waging war on bugs or other yard pests every summer, it may be time to consider some preventive pest control measures to keep the bugs at bay. Luckily, there are a few easy things you can do that will make a big difference.
Add the following landscaping tasks to your to-do list to help prevent yard pests so you can enjoy your outdoor spaces more this year.
1.) Mow Your Lawn and Keep It Tidy
Insects and other pests look for places to hide from predators, and tall grass is perfect for that purpose. An overgrown lawn can attract a range of pests like snails, caterpillars, fleas, and ticks.
Mow your lawn on a regular schedule to keep your grass short and deter pests from taking up residence there.
In addition, work to keep your yard clear of leaves and debris, as they make an attractive home for pests. Weed and rake regularly, and clear out any standing water (standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other bugs).
Keeping your yard as neat and tidy as possible will help keep bugs and insects away.
2.) Keep Shrubs and Trees Pruned
Trees and shrubs add character, structure, and shade to your landscaping…not to mention beauty! But like many plants, they can attract a host of common pests.
Not only do many kinds of insects enjoy eating or living in your trees, overgrown trees that cause excessive shade can keep the sun from drying out the ground after it rains. Extra moisture in the ground attracts insects, including mosquitoes.
Does this mean you need to cut down all of the trees and shrubs in your yard to keep pests away? Of course not. You just need to prune them regularly so they don’t become overgrown.
This is especially important if you have trees close to your home. Try to keep at least six feet of clearance between your exterior walls and tree limbs or branches. This will prevent any tree-dwelling pests from accessing your home.
3.) Plant Insect-Repelling Flowers and Herbs
Some plants attract more pests than others. But other plants can actually help repel bugs, insects, and other pests, protecting your gardens and home.
Help prevent yard pests by planting flowers and herbs that discourage pests from making their home in your gardens. Some options include:
- Rosemary or fennel to help prevent snails
- Spearmint and artemisia to keep ants and beetles away
- Lavender, basil, or catnip to repel mosquitoes (though lavender may attract bees)
- Chrysanthemums can keep away all sorts of pests, including roaches, ants, silverfish, lice, fleas, and ticks
- Petunias to deter insects like beetles and aphids
- Pitcher plants and Venus flytraps will actually catch and eat insects!
4.) Maintain a Buffer Between Wood Mulch and Your Home
While wood mulch offers many benefits for your gardens, it can attract wood-loving pests like termites and carpenter ants. To protect your home from these pests, build a 2-foot buffer around the perimeter of your home to keep wood mulch away from your exterior walls.
The same is true for any untreated wood in your yard, as well as fallen tree limbs or dead tree stumps. Consider replacing wood borders with rocks or another non-wood option, and remove fallen limbs or stumps as soon as possible, aiming to catch them before they rot.
5.) Adjust Your Landscape Lighting
While landscape lighting can help keep your yard safe and enable you to enjoy your landscaping after dark, some pests are attracted to light. Lightbulbs give off warmth, which draws moths and other flying insects.
But a 2016 study found that some lights attract more insects than others. According to this study, LED lights with a warm yellow or orange hue attracted significantly fewer insects than typical incandescent bulbs. Switching the bulbs in your landscape lighting to yellow LEDs should reduce the number of flying insects in your yard at night.
Prevent Yard Pests With Regular Landscape Maintenance Services from McDonough
Want to keep pests away, but don’t have the time or energy to do all of the work yourself? Consider weekly, monthly, or seasonal landscape maintenance services from McDonough Landscaping.
Whether you need pruning, weeding, or yard cleanup, the hardworking team at McDonough can take care of it for you*. Contact us here to discuss your landscaping needs and schedule your first maintenance visit.
*Please note that we do not offer lawn care services at this time.