How to Keep Winter Pests out of Your Yard

No matter the time of year, yard pests can pose a threat to the health, growth and appearance of your lawn and garden. However, there are a few rodents and insects that become a greater concern during the winter, since they like to feed on your garden and make a winter vacation home out of your lawn. Big or small, their winter time habits can cause ugly costly damage to your outdoor spaces. Prevent damage to your lawn and garden by considering these tips on how to keep winter pests out of your yard.

Remove Debris

Raking leaves is an inevitable yard chore, but it is essential to preserving the health and growth of your lawn. Not only can the weight of the leaves kill your grass beneath the snow, but it can also harbor winter pests like chinch bugs and slugs. These types of yard pests can eat away at foliage and leave large holes in flowers and vegetables like broccoli leaves and lettuce heads. Slugs, in particular, thrive in cold temperatures and can kill freshly sprouted seedlings. Other insects like chinch bugs live on dead stems and plant roots, so be sure to continuously remove such debris from your yard until snow falls. When the snow clears, it's best to dethatch your lawn to keep them and other insects from feasting on your lawn.

Trenching

Trenches are a great way to keep voles and other rodents from feeding on your garden. Surround your garden with a hole that is at least 12 inches deep and wide enough for you to step over. Voles tend to make tunnels underneath the snow to get around; however, an open trench will deter them away from your veggies and encourage them to tunnel in another direction. Dropping your mowing height lower before the snow falls is also a great way to keep rodents from making homes in your yard. Keeping your grass at a low height not only keeps voles from digging up grass roots, but also encourages good growth patterns for grass in the spring.

Fencing

To keep larger animals like deer and rabbits from eating your winter veggies, invest in proper fencing for a cost-effective solution. Use chicken wire or rot-resistant wood like cedar or locust around your veggies for this.

Proper critter prevention also requires some research. Knowing what animals and insects are commonly found in your area can help you determine the best prevention/removal process. Consult with a professional pest control service if the problem continues.