Pest prevention for lawns, gardens, landscapes and houses
I will let you in on a little secret concerning pest prevention and all things vegetation. The real key to preventing pests, whether they are the ones eating your shrubs, or the ones eating your vegetables, is to choose plants that are pest resistant. This is pretty easy to do in the garden, where disease resistance, and pest resistance can be bred in through hybridization on a pretty rapid basis. Shrubs and trees are a little different, but there is one pool of pest resistant plants for landscaping that has been modified to suit your conditions over hundreds of years of genetic adaptation, and that is the plants that are native to your area. Growing what grows naturally in your area will provide the ultimate in pest prevention in landscapes. There is an added benefit to good outdoor pest prevention practices, and that is that there will be fewer pests to invade your indoor habitat. Good indoor pest control starts with good outdoor pest control.
Lawn pest prevention
If you have the choice, the place to start with preventing pests in lawns, is selecting a variety of lawn grass which is native to your area. This can be difficult in some areas, but I will guarantee you that some plant research team in your area is working on the problem as you read this.
The second step is to use good cultural practices. I am not talking about etiquette, but the practices you use to maintain your lawn. Avoid over fertilizing and over watering, since these practices cause a flush of growth under conditions that are perfect for pest and disease invasion. Mow frequently to keep the weeds from seeding out, and to avoid thatch buildup which often allows bugs, fungi, and disease to go unnoticed until it is too late. Remember, what you are trying to accomplish is the removal of conditions that favor bugs, weeds, fungus and disease.
Garden pest prevention
Choose varieties of plants that are pest and disease resistant, water and fertilize appropriately for the plants, and make sure that the water loving plants are separated from the ones that like dry conditions. Be sure to keep plants that need full sunlight planted in a place where they can get full sunlight. Shade loving plants need shade. Reversing their placement will result in weak plants that will be more susceptible to pests, both bugs and weeds.
Landscape pest prevention
Plant choices and placement are the keys. Choose native plants over exotic plants, and you are well on your way. Place the plants that need dry conditions away from plants that may need more water, keep them healthy and do not damage them. As with garden plants, make sure that shade loving plants get shade, and sun loving plants get sunlight. Prune cleanly and at the proper place, and avoid damaging the landscape plants with tools and equipment which can weaken shrubs and trees causing conditions which encourage pests.
House pest prevention
If you have done everything right up to this point, preventing pests in structures is a simple matter of not inviting them inside, and blocking any strays. Pest prevention inside the home starts outside the home with good cultural practices in your lawn, garden and landscape.
- Choose plant varieties that are pest resistant and disease resistant.
- Place the plants in proper places, shade lovers in the shade, sun lovers in the sun, and separate based on water requirements.
- Use the minimum amount of fertilizer needed to prevent excessive, pest attracting growth.
- Use the minimum amount of water needed to prevent a flush of pest susceptible growth.
- Cut and prune properly according to the needs of the plant to avoid conditions which invite pests.
- Avoid damaging lawns and plants with equipment.
- Outdoor pest prevention helps prevent indoor pests.