Tag Archives: pest prevention

Pest Control Brush Weeds Rubble Clean Up

Pest Control Brush Weeds Rubble Clean Up

Part two in our pest prevention series.

To control pests through prevention the very best way to start is by clearing your property of the things that encourage pests. Simple, right? Weedy brushy areas are both cover and breeding grounds for pests.

Weeds

Weeds provide food for bugs and rodents. Mice like seed. Weeds have seed. Mice like weeds! Simple as that. The complexities of what each bug and rodent likes to eat, and how the interaction between all of them produces this buggy, weedy community would be out of place here, so let’s just say that weeds attract insects and rodents seeking food. Weeds also attract insects and rodents who seek cover from predators. So, between the food, and the shelter, weeds make a pretty happy hunting ground and breeding ground for small annoying creatures.

Naturally, the question comes up: “If they like weeds so much why don’t they just stay there and out of my kitchen?” The answer is simple: They think you may have a better life for them.

Brush

Fence Row Brush

Brush mixed with weeds is a sign that property is not maintained well. It usually means that it was cleared once, and has not been maintained or used since it was cleared. This makes for a more advanced pest community, and, yes, if you live nearby, they will advance to your doorstep! Clearing your property of such problem areas will advance your pest control program beyond what exterminators can offer.

Brush and weeds are not normal growth

A patch of brush and weeds is not a native habitat, it is the early stage of something that might become a forest in 30 years, but what it grows is rarely natural or native. Such situations are created by humans by accident, and rarely produce native plants in abundance. The only wildlife that is attracted to such an area is the type of wildlife attracted to other forms of human waste and garbage. Saving such areas in the name of saving the environment is not realistic. From my experience, what grows in cleared areas that are not maintained is almost always non native, biodiversity attacking, invasive and a threat to the surrounding natural environment.

Rubble

Rubble and rubbish are a big problem. These stacks and piles offer ideal homes for rodents, and the resulting snakes that feed on them. They also provide food and shelter for insects that would like to spend some time in your kitchen.

Roaches and decaying wood

The natural food of the roach is wet decaying wood. If you have piles or stacks of it around your place, you will eventually have roaches who will attempt to come inside your home for something a little more tasty. When they get inside, the roach population will grow commensurate with the availability of food. It doesn’t require a truly dirty home, a drop of grease will feed thousands of the little disease spreaders. Getting rid of rubble will eliminate most of the threat.

General cleanup

Things like tires, and buckets, disused pet food and watering bowls, and the old moon hubcap that you planned to build a truck around someday provide luxury accommodations for mosquitoes to reproduce. If you remove these things from your property, or store them properly, it will go a long way to solving problems with mosquitoes.

What to do

My advice is to clean it up. If you keep fire wood, stack it on a wood rack, preferably a foot or more off the ground. This will both preserve the wood, and prevent a lot of little things from becoming a big problem. If you have brushy weedy areas on your property, take an ax to the brush, and mow the weeds. Then keep it mowed.

Habitats

If your goal is to have a backyard habitat, work on the brush and weeds selectively. Get rid of the weeds by mowing them, unless there is a patch of truly native plant life that you want to save. Get rid of non native, invasive plants that will eventually take over if left to their own devices. Nurture and encourage the remaining native plant life, and you will be surprised at the results.

See part three in our pest prevention series: How Lawn Care Effects Pest Control

Landscaping For Pest Prevention

Landscaping For Pest Prevention

Landscapes matter

Part four in our pest prevention series

What you do with your landscape has a direct effect on the pest population attempting to enter your home. How you build it, and how you maintain it is a huge factor in indoor pest prevention. Your landscape is an insect and rodent magnet, it will attract them, or it will help to repel them, based on how you manage it, and the plants you have in the landscape.

These are some tips for the homeowner on using landscaping to prevent pest problems.

Vines

Avoid climbing vines attached to the home, especially around windows and other openings. Vines are like a highway for pests. They will work into tiny openings, spreading them wider, and allowing insects and arachnids to piggy back inside.

Shrubs

Shrubs planted too close to the home, or touching the home, allow pests to hide and also provide a roadway to any nearby opening. They should be kept at least one foot from the home, preferably three feet.

Mulch

The mulch in landscape beds can hide a lot of pests. It also provides food sources for pests as it gets older. It can also be a source of fungus. It should be kept at least a foot from the home, preferably three feet.

Trees

Trees should not contact the home in any way. Tree branches in contact with the home provide a roadway for pests onto your home, and eventually into your home. They also may damage gutters and roofs. Poor pruning, or deliberate topping increases pest populations. Bad pruning practices cause the tree to produce unnatural growth that is poorly connected and susceptible to disease and fungus. It opens the tree to pests and disease that feed on the trees juices and provides hiding places for them.

Landscape Plant Choices And Pest Prevention

Your choice of plants to populate your landscape plays a very important role in preventing home pests. As a general rule of thumb, these should be native plants whenever possible.

Native plants for pest control

In fact, the single most important thing you can do to “pest proof” your landscape, is to build it with plants that are native to your area. Native plants will decrease your pest problems, lower your water and nutrient needs, and do a big favor for the environment!

Native plants, are naturally resistant to the types of pests you have in your region, and are already acclimated to your soil types, your weather conditions, and your seasons. Native plants are accustomed to the average annual rainfall in your area, and they won’t break out of your landscape and swallow the forests of your area.

Every year we see thousands of acres taken over by “non native,” alien pests. They destroy the native plant life and in doing so, destroy the biodiversity of the area. The cost is into the millions for controlling them, and we are just seeing the tip of the botanical iceberg.

Integrated pest management, should start with prevention, and the place to begin is with the right plants for your area. At the very least, you should avoid the use of anything that is known to be “invasive.”

Go native, and make your landscape and your world a better place.

Your areas native plants are:

  • Acclimated to your temperatures.
  • Accustomed to your areas rainfall.
  • Accustomed to your seasonal changes
  • Resistant to your pests
  • They won’t eat the local forests or lakes.

So learn about the plants native to your area, and use them in your landscape!

See part 5 in our pest prevention series: Landscape Tree Care And Pest Prevention