Tag Archives: landscape pest prevention

Lawn Garden Landscape And House Pest Prevention

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.

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.


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 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.


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 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