Pest Control In Your Garden

Pest control in your garden can be a pain, especially if you decide not to use any chemicals to keep the pests at bay. I love my garden and try – as much as possible – to avoid using any chemicals in it. Besides, I want my garden to be a safe place for my family and for wild birds and other creatures. 

I know that in order to have a thriving garden, at least a part of your time has to be dedicated to (at best) preventing the pests from coming to your garden in the first place, or (at least) keeping them under control. Here are some great ways to deal with pest control in your garden. You can also see this page for more on the outdoor areas.

Use prevention for pest control in your garden

In some cases it’s possible to prevent pests from taking over your garden in the first place. There are three major actions you can take to ensure this.


1. Encourage natural predators

Aphids can completely take over your rose plants in the space of a couple of weeks. They’re ugly, sticky and hard to get rid of. However, ladybirds (ladybugs) and hoverflies etc., love aphids and can chomp through them in record time. It make sense therefore, to encourage these insects in your garden and they’ll work for you. Plant lavender, sage and/or rosemary (all of which don’t require much attention) in a corner of your garden and these insects will love you. Let them thrive and you won’t have to deal with large amounts of aphids.

2. Encourage wild birds in your garden

All you need is a couple of bird feeders/seeds hung strategically on trees in your garden. Birds don’t require much. And if you have the space, why not provide a small bird bath as well. Keep the bird food topped up properly and they’ll have fun eating the caterpillars and slugs in your garden. More birds mean fewer pests. Of course, they probably won’t eat all of the caterpillars and slugs, but they’ll definitely keep them under control for you.

Porcupines are also known for eating slugs and snails, so if you can, keep some old wood in a dark, private corner of the garden where they can hide out and feel safe. They’ll come out at night and early in the morning to feast on some slimy, undesirable creatures on your behalf.

4. Discourage neighbours pets from using your garden

Pest control in your garden does not only stop with little creatures. In my experience, neighbours’ pet cats can be a nuisance. They can, in a lot of ways, prevent you from enjoying your garden properly. They dig up little plants so they can use the space as a toilet and can even kill young birds you’re trying to keep safe in your garden. Prevent cats from coming into your garden by scattering mothballs and chilli over the bits they’re likely to visit. (You may have to re-apply the chilli after the rain). They don’t like prickly holly leaves either. Some people also use sonic deterrents, but be careful with these if you have rabbits, as they’ll be affected too.

Organise pest control in your garden by putting up a fight

Fight pests without chemicals

Many of us choose not to use chemicals in our garden for controlling pests. Here are some simple ways you can control the common pests without chemicals.

Slugs and snails

Use sharp sand, grit or eggshells around plants like hostas, which the slugs and snails like. Some people also swear by putting copper pipes or copper tape around the plants, but this has never worked for me. Maybe it will for you. I use non-toxic slug pellets, which do a very good job. I always have to re-apply after heavy rain.

Caterpillars and white flies

Use horticultural fleece (this works very well) over your plants which are loved by caterpillars and white flies. If you can get a very fine mesh and erect them above and around the plants, this will work well too. The flies and caterpillars can’t get to them.

Aphids and other tiny insects

I sometimes pick off aphids after spraying them with a mixture of washing up liquid and water. This mixture seems to stunt them and make them easy to pick off. If you don’t want to do this, another very effective way of staving off aphids is to plant strong-smelling plants like marigolds or chives next to your crops. They can’t stand the smell and will stay away.


Hang sticky pheromone tapes in your greenhouse or tree (any area around which is infected by them). They get trapped in the tape and can’t do much damage. There are also wasp traps you can get to hang in fruit trees.

Closing note about using pesticides for pest control in your garden

Sometimes it’s not possible to control pests in your garden by the methods outlined above. If you’ve tried these and failed, then you may feel that you want to use garden pesticides to control the pests. Please take a moment to read the cautions below before you make this decision.

Once you’ve used garden pesticide you need to get rid of the remaining parts you haven’t used responsibly. You can check online to see what the procedure is for your local area.

Never remove pesticide from its original container and store it elsewhere. Always make sure that the other people who use your garden can identify the pesticide if they come across it when you’re not there. Maybe place it in a designated cupboard, or at least, make it clear the product is not to be used.

Always follow instructions when using garden pesticides.

Lastly, but importantly, children and pets must be kept away from the area after you’ve used garden pesticides. It can be very dangerous to their health.

If you have any other tips and advice on pest control in your garden, please share them in the comment section below. Please also share this article on your social networking sites. I appreciate your help. Thank you!



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About Anne

Anne Lyken-Garner, the owner of DIY Projects is the published author of the inspirational memoir, Sunday's Child (available on Amazon). She's also a freelance writer, blogger and editor. She writes for, and manages 4 blogs. See how Anne can help you with editing your site at the Hire an Editor page above.

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9 Responses to Pest Control In Your Garden

  1. Kravu pārvadājumi August 14, 2013 at 7:01 am #

    Will use this for sure! Fantastic post and many great helpful ideas!

  2. Jack August 13, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    Hi Anne, pests are a true mess, they destroy your plants and your garden slowly and gradually. However, I am not in favor of chemical pesticides and try to be natural most of the times when working to keep the insects away from my plants. I think they are safe.

  3. hairdressers in Edinburgh August 8, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure of your site?Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two pictures.Maybe you could space it out better?

    • Anne August 8, 2013 at 10:42 am #

      Thanks for your message. The reason I don’t use more than one picture is because pictures slow down your site, especially pictures taken from other sources. Of course, I wouldn’t have all the pictures I need, so I’d HAVE to get them from other blogs.

      Each picture takes its own time to load, and if the original site is really slow, that makes it even worse.

      Every blogger knows that Google rates sites on their loading speed as well. I’d rather have one picture and load quickly, than loads of pictures and do the opposite.

      I’m sorry, I didn’t understand what you meant about spacing it out better.

  4. Wandering Thought August 8, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    Fantastic post and many great helpful ideas, Anne! I have 2 bird feeders up and I love watching birds coming and going.

    • Anne August 8, 2013 at 10:25 am #

      That must be very enjoyable. I remember seeing some beautiful pictures of the birds that arrive in your garden on your blog.

  5. Garage Door Repair Akron OH
    August 7, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    Great post Anne! These are all great tips, many that I did not know about. I have my own little garden and yes the pests can get the best of you if you don’t keep them in check. I’m eager to try out the eggshell trick. Another pest control trick that I remember my mother swearing by when I was a little kid is to use beer to get rid of slugs….just take about a half can of beer and pour it into a metal pie pan (or other container with sloped sides). The slugs are attracted by the smell of the beer, but can’t climb up the sides of the pie pan once they get in. Sounds funny, but it works and you don’t have to worry about chemicals in your garden.
    Garage Door Repair Akron OH recommends you read..My garage door is making a horrible noise, what can I do?My Profile

    • Anne August 8, 2013 at 10:47 am #

      I’ve heard about the beer for slugs before, but as I’ve never used it, I couldn’t vouch for it in the article, so I didn’t mention it.

      I’m glad you did though, because I want people to have as many tools as possible when dealing with pests. I especially detest slugs and snails because you usually have to change their deterrent over time. I think they ‘get used’ to most deterrents (apart from the pellets I mentioned). I also used holly leaves and that worked… but only for a while. Somehow they managed to crawl over the prickly leaves on their soft, slimy bellies.

      Thanks again for your input. I appreciate it.


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