Protecting Your Garden Against Urban Pests

Home & Garden Blog

Anyone who enjoys cultivating a garden also knows something about the struggle involved in keeping that garden from being ravaged by urban wildlife. Whether insect, mammal or bird, there are a few ways you can deter local pests from using your garden as a free meal, or a litter box. Bear in mind though, the goal is to make your garden less desirable, not erect an impenetrable chemical barrier.

Repelling Insects Without Damaging Plants

It is especially important to avoid damaging your plants with any pest control product, so your focus should begin with non-toxic applications. For insects, using cedar planks as a border can create a non-toxic barrier that will generally repel them from the area. Cedar oil is a natural insect repellant, making it ideal for use in and around gardens, though if you choose to use cedar mulch to the same end you'll want to replace or renew it annually.

If you prefer to use chemical repellants in place of natural deterrents, be sure that you're applying them only to decorative gardens. Most residential insecticides are non-toxic to humans, but still shouldn't come in contact with food, such as those found in your backyard vegetable garden. If you must use chemical repellants or insecticides, avoid applying them to flowers or vegetables to ensure that bees will still be able to pollinate and that vegetables are still edible.

Deterring Urban Wildlife Without Hurting Your Family

While there are non-toxic insecticides available, there's no such product which will safely address mammals or birds that might be eating what your garden produces. Instead, the use of non-chemical repellants is essential to making sure you can keep your vegetable garden.

One of the most popular approaches is the use of cayenne pepper, either sprinkled liberally around the perimeter of a garden or applied as a solution to plants. The capsaicin in the powder creates a potent repellant which most animals will be reluctant to approach, but you will want to make sure you wash any vegetables you spray.

Rather than simply driving animals away from a vegetable garden, it's can help to use other forms of enticement to draw them away too. A good example is planting berry vines at the outer edge of your property, such as strawberries or other attractive treats. Birds, squirrels and other small rodents will be more inclined to eat the easily accessible berries instead of pressing through layers of deterrents and barriers for your garden's spoils.

Many tried and proven methods exist for dealing with insects, but birds, rodents and other small mammals are more difficult to address. A combination approach will help to ensure that your garden has the best possible chance at flourishing. Contact a company like Greenleaf Organic Pest Management for more information on pest control options. 


25 May 2015