Pests & Diseases

Eliminating Pests in Fall

Your spring garden preparation can be a lot easier if you tackle pest elimination in fall. If there are insect larvae in fallen leaves, the first thing you will have to do in March is combat diseases. We would like to teach you how to clean your garden before winter sets in.

Check out these 7 steps to get rid of pests in fall.

  1. Examine all perennial plants for dry leaves covered with webs. Remove and burn them, as these can harbor nests of brown-tail moths and thorn butterflies.
  2. Dig up the garden if possible. Pay special attention to the soil around trees and vegetable patches. It’ll help you destroy pest nests and make them vulnerable to frost and birds, the natural predators of insects.
  3. Monitor the soil condition. Almost all pest larvae thrive in high humidity. Heavy, compacted clay soils become waterlogged easily and prevent the roots of your plants from getting proper aeration. Moreover, they are also breeding grounds for disease pathogens. Ensure good drainage and regularly amend the soil with compost and fertilizers. Don’t forget to check the pH level of the soil and adjust if necessary. For instance, you can use dolomite lime to make it more neutral.
  4. Take care of tree crowns and bushes after harvesting. Cut off damaged, weak, and sick branches and remove rotten fruits. Remember to utilize plant clippings after pruning. If you want to compost fallen leaves, apply a layer of healthy soil or peat on top. However, it’s better to burn severely affected clippings. You can also add some ash to prevent a disease or infestation from spreading.
  5. Cut off and burn shoots covered with galls. These growths may contain harmful insect larvae that will survive winter and infest their home in spring.
  6. Thoroughly examine all perennial plants for single pests and remove them by hand. Be careful not to drop them. You can treat the infested plants and the soil around them with an insecticide to make sure you haven’t left any stragglers.
  7. Remove dried bark from tree stumps. Scrape caterpillar cocoons and insect larvae onto a cloth and burn them along with the cloth. Trunk pests are extremely dangerous and require immediate control measures. Round holes in the bark are the most obvious sign of infestation. In fall, give the affected bark injections of a pyrethrum solution without mixing it with water. It’s an effective method to eliminate bark beetles.

These measures will be even more effective if you seek help from pests’ natural predators. Birds not only give you a helping hand in eliminating harmful insects but also make your garden more lively and colorful in winter. Just install a few feeders and wait for cute visitors!

Here are some tips on how to make your feeders more attractive to birds.

  • Place feeders at different heights.
  • Create safe conditions for birds. Birds never eat in open places where they are easy prey for hawks, so the best location for a feeder is near shrubs or trees. Place your feeders at least 3 feet (1 meter) away from windows to prevent collisions. You don’t want to endanger your helpful visitors.
  • Offer a variety of seeds, suet, and water. This will let you attract different birds and make your garden even more enjoyable in winter.
  • Protect your feeders from squirrels.
  • Learn about species typical for your area. When you know what birds you’re going to attract, it’ll be a lot easier to create favorable conditions for them.
  • Empty and clean your feeders before refilling. Seed remains may rot and develop harmful bacteria, which can be deadly for birds.

We hope that these tips will help you start your new gardening season in spring without pests!

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