Kellogg Garden Blog:

Insect & Pest Control

Pesky Pests! If you let them out of your sight, they can wreak havoc on your gardens. Luckily, we’ve asked the experts in organic pest control and compiled the best tips and tricks to fight off these garden bullies. Discover the benefit of native birds for termite control and how to attract the good bugs like ladybugs and praying mantis. Read up on organic products to aid in the war against destructive insects. Learn how chickens, ducks, cats, dogs, bats, and owls play a vital role in controlling different types of pests, from ticks to mice.

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Planting certain flowers can help deter garden pests by acting as natural repellents or attracting beneficial insects that feed on pests. Here are some flowers known for their pest-deterring properties:

Marigolds: Marigolds are effective in repelling a wide range of pests, including aphids, nematodes, whiteflies, and tomato hornworms. The strong scent of marigolds acts as a natural deterrent.

Nasturtiums: Nasturtiums attract aphids, which can help protect other plants in your garden by drawing the pests away from them. They are also known to repel whiteflies, squash bugs, and cucumber beetles.

Lavender: Lavender’s strong scent deters a variety of pests, including mosquitoes, moths, fleas, and flies. It also attracts beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.

Petunias: Petunias are effective against aphids, leafhoppers, tomato hornworms, and other common garden pests. They come in various colors and can be planted in containers or hanging baskets.

Alliums: Plants in the Allium family, such as onions, garlic, and chives, can repel aphids, slugs, and other pests. They also attract beneficial insects like bees and predatory wasps.

Ants as garden pests could lead to the following:

Aphid farming: Certain ant species “farm” aphids, protecting them and feeding on their honeydew secretions. This relationship can lead to an increase in aphid populations, which can damage plants by feeding on their sap.
Nesting damage: Some ants construct nests in lawns, flower beds, or potted plants, causing soil displacement and potential damage to plant roots.
Harvesting seeds: Certain ant species are known to collect seeds, especially those with elaiosomes (fleshy structures rich in lipids). They may take seeds from seed packets or harvest them from freshly sown areas.

For more information on ants as a garden pest, visit our blog

Coffee grounds are sometimes believed to repel garden pests, but their effectiveness can vary. They may deter slugs and snails due to their abrasive texture and caffeine content, but the results can vary depending on the species and caffeine concentration. Coffee grounds’ scent might also discourage cats from entering the garden, though not all cats may be affected. There isn’t strong evidence supporting their repellent effect on ants or other common pests like aphids or beetles. When using coffee grounds, it’s important to do so sparingly to avoid affecting soil pH and plant health. Overall, coffee grounds can be considered as a supplementary approach to pest control rather than a comprehensive solution.

The most common garden pests include aphids, slugs and snails, whiteflies, caterpillars, beetles, and spider mites. These pests can cause damage to plants by feeding on foliage, flowers, and fruits, leading to stunted growth, defoliation, and reduced crop yields. Identifying and implementing suitable pest control measures are important for protecting gardens from the impact of these common pests.

Identifying garden pests is essential for effective pest management. To identify pests in your garden, carefully observe your plants for signs of damage and note the affected areas. Examine the physical characteristics of the pests themselves, such as their size, color, and distinctive markings. Research the life cycle and behavior of common garden pests to understand their habits and preferred habitats. Utilize online resources, pest identification guides, or seek assistance from local extension services for accurate identification. In some cases, setting up traps specific to certain pests can aid in capturing and identifying them. Once you have identified the pests, you can choose appropriate pest control methods to effectively manage them, such as organic sprays, cultural practices, or biological controls.

To keep bugs away from your vegetables, opt for organic and natural methods. Neem oil is an effective repellent derived from the neem tree that disrupts insects’ feeding and reproductive patterns. Dilute and spray it on your vegetables, focusing on the undersides of leaves. Insecticidal soap, a mixture of soap and water, suffocates soft-bodied pests like aphids and whiteflies. Follow the instructions for dilution and application. Alternatively, make a homemade spray from garlic and hot peppers by blending them, straining the mixture, diluting with water, and spraying it on your vegetables.