No one really likes spiders, ants and other creepy crawlers invading home and yard. But there are some best-practice ways to deal with them.
“An essential aspect of landscape maintenance is insect control,” said entomologist Doug VanGundy. “Problem insects can affect the vigor of plants and landscapes, either through disease, insect feeding or other destructive activities. Insects can also invade the interior of a home in search of food, water and shelter, becoming a general nuisance.”
Here are VanGundy’s tips on preventing insect infestations on your property:
Choose plants wisely. Native plants are less likely to attract unwanted pests.
Combat insects with essential nutrients. One of the best defenses is a strong, actively growing, well-maintained plant, so proper fertilization is essential. It helps sustain optimum plant growth and resistance to insects, diseases and environmental stresses.
Create a line of defense. Use a bait formulation such as an ant barrier to create a deterrent around your home. The bait kills a range of ant species outside so they are unable to infest interior areas. Foraging ants bring the granules back to their mound, resulting in death of the entire colony, including the queen.
Clean up debris. Remove loose debris from around the home and at the foundation of plants, including fallen leaves or dropped fruit, because pests often use it for nesting and feeding.
Protect beneficial species. Within every landscape and garden, there are pest predators that are beneficial to the health of plants – either by feeding on problem pests or by helping with soil aeration and drainage. Examples include earthworms, spiders, ladybugs and praying mantises. You can attract beneficial insects to your landscape with plants that provide nectar, pollen and other food sources.