Fall Pest Control

There are many wonderful things about fall - beautiful leaves, sweater weather, seasonal flavors and crisp air. However, if you love to plant in the fall and do so every year, you know garden pests don't fade away like the hot weather does. 
 
While some pests, like ground and lady beetles that eat bugs, are good to keep in the garden, many can be harmful. Pests like aphids and caterpillars eat the leaves off plants or drink their sap, which weakens and harms your plants. To make sure you have a pest-free fall garden, here are some common, easy and noninvasive ways to minimize damage from unwanted visitors.

 

Build a physical barrier

Keep larger pests out of your garden by simply building a physical barrier - which can range in size and needed materials, depending on the types of pests your garden attracts. For slugs and snails, use a copper flashing to produce an electrical current when it interacts with the snail's or slug's mucus. Remember, this will only repel them, not kill them. For cutworms, cut a toilet paper or paper towel roll into 3-inch cylinders and press the tube around the base of your new plants, leaving an inch above the soil. This will prevent the worms from reaching the plants. You can also build a chicken wire fence around your garden to keep larger animals like rabbits and squirrels out.

Use natural repellant

Instead of using pesticides, which can be harmful, repel insects with coffee grounds or citrus peels; both options are natural repellants due to their smell and acidity. Another natural and environmentally friendly option is using a vinegar mixture to keep both pests and weeds at bay.

Pick your vegetables on time

Remember to pick your veggies when they show early signs of ripening. Insects love ripe fruit and will swarm if you don't pick it early enough. Overripe fruits can also weigh down plants, weakening them and attracting insects.
 

Till the soil

Many pests live underground in the soil, so tilling your soil disrupts and brings them to the surface. Then, predators like frogs and birds can eliminate unwanted insects from your garden. This also stops them from staying underground through the winter, further damaging your plants through the season. It's best to use a tiller like the Bronco' CRT Garden Tiller, which will till deeply and pull up any pests below the surface.