You Bug Me!
By: Stephanie Benney
Since we had such a mild winter, it wasn’t a shock to hear those lawnmowers and weed wakers singing at such an early date. Most peoples’ careers keep them inside and often times, staring at the partitions inside their cubicle. So, green space and outdoor time is very important.
From the time I was a little girl, I would watch my Mom pull weeds, fertilize grass and plant bulbs and trees. She gained so much joy tending to her self-created paradise.
For many people, maintaining a lush, beautiful lawn is therapy. For others, a quiet and quaint garden is the perfect little piece of the Earth. Well, regardless of the size of your green space, one thing is a definite – BUGS and PESTS will annoy you.
From beetles to grubs, the best way to keep these pests away is prevention. So, make your yard or garden a place they don’t want to enter in the first place. Follow this guide to help your garden flourish, sans bugs:
-Pull out any weak plants.
-Build healthy, organic soil.
-Seaweed, mulch or spray.
-Interplant and rotate crops.
-Keep foliage dry.
If prevention is too late and you already have a certain pest lurking, get rid of it by using another bug. I know, it may not make immediate sense, but there are bugs called beneficial insects. Beneficial Insects are insects that you can attract to your garden or buy from a catalogue, to prey on your pests and their larvae. For example, ladybugs consume aphids, mites, scale and whiteflies. You can attract ladybugs by planting daisies, yarrow or tansy. Praying Mantis are also great little guys to have around, as they feast on most garden pests.
If you are not keen on inviting additional bugs into your green space, try some of these home remedies. These remedies are safe for your garden, family and the animals that may live in the surrounding area. Here are a few remedies for some of the most common issues, via eartheasy.
For lawn or garden grubs, there is a natural remedy called milky spore. The granules are spread on the soil and cause the grubs to contract a disease that kills them. This natural control affects only the grubs, leaving the beneficial organisms unharmed. Milky spore multiplies over time and will sit inactive, waiting for grubs to infect. One treatment is said to last 40 years. The grubs are actually the larvae of Japanese beetles. So, when you kill the grubs, you kill the beetle.
Mix two tablespoons of baking soda into a quart of water. Pour into a spray container and spray affected areas. Repeat this process every few days until problem ceases.
Earwigs, slugs and other soft-bodied garden pests:
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth over plants and around edges of garden beds. The diatoms particles are very small and sharp – but only harmful to the small exoskeletons of insects, slugs and snails. Insects cannot become immune to its action, as it is a mechanical killer – not a chemical one.
This should get you started on your way to growing a gorgeous and productive garden. Now…..if only we could come up with a natural solution to the stink bug problem. I’ll get to work on that…
Stephanie Benney is a “Sustainable Visionary” and also the new Pittsburgh Representative for Fuzed Marketing, where she helps companies increase their brand presence. firstname.lastname@example.org