Nobody wants an abundance of pests in their yard. Not only are pests unpleasant to have around, but they can damage your flowers, vegetables, and plants. If left unchecked, they can even become a danger to your pets and family.
If you are struggling with pests in your yard, you can take several steps to protect and rid your yard of unwanted pests:
- Pest Identification
- Eliminating the Current Pest Problem
- Pest Prevention
Before treating for pests, it’s vital that you identify what kind of pests are in your yard. Only about 5 to 15 percent of bugs in your yard are actual pests.
Most bugs are actually “good bugs” that benefit the environment and your plants. For example, praying mantises and spiders eat other insects that are far more harmful to your yard.
Some common pests that are considered detrimental to your yard include:
- Moles, voles, gophers
- Japanese beetles
Common Yard Pests in Illinois
Unfortunately, Chicago, Illinois, has many common yard pests.
Here are some of the most vicious ones to keep your eyes out for:
- Japanese beetles (voracious chewers who do extensive damage)
- Aphids (look for yellow or curled leaves which are often a sign of aphid infestation)
- Spider mites (look for pale, flecked leaves)
- Rodents (look for feces, nests, holes, and digging marks)
Many pests breed rapidly and must be dealt with quickly before the infestation gets out of hand. If you want professional help at any time, check out our post on the top Chicago, Illinois, pest control companies.
Eliminating the Current Pest Population
If you do have harmful pests in your yard, there are a few steps you can take to eliminate them.
First, identify the specific problem before you begin spraying and squashing any pests in sight. Depending on the pest, you’ll want to take different approaches.
For example, if you have rodents, you may want to set out traps to capture them. Other insects, like fleas and mosquitoes, may need pesticides to be sprayed. In general, keeping your yard clean and tidy will also help to reduce the current pest population.
Here are some ways that you can clean up your yard to reduce pests:
- Trim your yard frequently
- Remove any piles of wood, paper, garbage, or cardboard (many pests may use these to make nests)
- Keep your sheds and garage closed (check for small gaps that rodents may enter)
It’s true — prevention is always better than treatment. Here are a few steps you can take to prevent pests in your yard:
- Keep your plants trimmed
- Plant a variety of plants and crops
- Eliminate any nesting materials (clippings, wood, garbage, etc.)
- Do not leave any type of food supply out (fallen fruit, nuts, etc.)
- Don’t scatter bird feed on the ground. Use bird feed stations instead
- Secure your trash cans and empty them frequently
- Remove dead plants
- Pull weeds before they spread
- Choose pest-resistant plants
- Seal off entry to your sheds, garage, and home using a sealant or caulking product
Many professional pest control companies also specialize in integrated pest management, which is a technique used to prevent pest-friendly areas from developing on your property. Integrated pest management can significantly reduce the number of pests in your yard and help you maintain a healthier yard, making it a great choice for preventing future pests from invading your garden.