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Pest Control Principles: Going Healthy in Lawn and Yard Control

It only makes sense that eliminating harmful chemicals will result in healthier plants, a healthier gardener and a healthier planet. You may be wondering, however, if natural pesticides will give you the results you want.

Closer to home, the use of synthetics may be harmful to families simply wanting to enjoy the open space of their yard. Pets walk across lawns and explore gardens. Children play in the yard. When synthetic pesticides are used there is more potential for exposure due to their persistence in the environment.

Most homeowners rely on indoor pest control strategies to deal with pest invasions in the home. However, the underlying cause of indoor pest control problems is often the yard and outside area surrounding your home.

Before we go charging off to investigate specific insect pests and their controls, let's look at the products we use to control them and how these products work. This is important to understand because the safe use of insect control is vital to your family's health and the health of your environment.

Biological Controls

Biological controls are in a very active development stage right now. There is a tremendous level of ongoing research to identify natural controls and to set up systems to use them to our advantage. I mention this because by the time this book comes out, the situation will have changed from the time it was written—things are moving that fast in the lawn and garden industry.

The basic thinking behind the use of biological controls on lawns is to encourage natural populations or augment the level of insect predators on the lawn area.

Once the lawn pests have been destroyed and eaten, there will be no food source and the beneficial nematode population will crash back to normal levels.

Think organic

When you shop for garden pest-control products, give preference to organic over chemical. Chemical products can do more than just harm the pests, they can harm you and your family when absorbed into your produce, as well as affect pets if they get the chemical on their feet.

By using organic matter, you are not only fighting today's problem areas, you are feeding the soil and protecting future growth that will be healthy and disease-free. Try some fish emulsion, bone meal, manure, or kelp.

Keep in mind that the best time to treat your garden with organic products is not during the day when the sun is out. Pest control products in combination with the heat of the sun can be damaging to the plants.

Lawn protection

To keep slugs and snails off your lawn, make sure there is nothing there for them to make a home. These pests love rocks, stones, wooden items and boxes. By simply keeping your lawn clutter free, you will discourage them from visiting you.

When you brew your morning coffee, keep the coffee grounds and scatter them around areas you want to protect from slimy pests. Pulverized egg shells and wood ash work as well.

If you already have slugs or snails and want to get rid of them, set a trap. These pests can't resist a saucer of beer. Check the saucer periodically and dispose of the beer-loving visitors.

Steps to natural lawn pest control

Here are a few other steps for natural, organic pest control in your lawn and landscaped areas:

  • Proper yard maintenance is necessary in natural pest control.  Once a week walk your property and look for any standing water during both mild and hot weather. Pests can breed quickly even in small amounts of water that collect in wheel barrows, empty cans, tarps and many other non-porous containers.  Also be mindful of clutter and debris that can become reciprocals to molds and mildew.
  • Keep an eye open for pests in your plant beds and lawn. Be tolerant of a few bugs.  They are a source of food and can be beneficial.
  • Thatch development on the lawn can provide food and shelter for invasive bugs.  Mulching grass clippings and adding other mulched material to the lawn as a natural fertilizer is beneficial. However, leaving heavy build up on the grass should be avoided.
  • Spot treat if only small or isolated areas are affected.
  • Learn which bugs are good and which are bad.  This varies in different areas.   Some bad bugs include chinch bugs, white grubs, bluegrass billbug, and sod wedworms.

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Published by Graeme Stephens owner of Pest Control Auckland and has proudly been providing the following professional services since 1987: pest control, fly control, flea control, insect, cockroach, wasp, bee, flies, fleas, bed bug control, ant control

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