Tips to Control Garden Pests without Harming the Soil

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Controlling invasions of pests isn’t an easy task. Taking the health of your soil into consideration adds an entire new level of difficulty. Here are some tips that will help you rid yourself of garden pests while continually managing and improving the health of your soil.

Garden Pest Control
Photo by Fotolia/kuzelv

Tips to Control Garden Pests

A Dangerous Journey: Don’t make it easy for pests to waltz right up to your plants and destroy them. The more effort they have to put in, the more likely they are to give up. Making the ground near your plants unpleasant to be on is a great way to deter many different types of pests. You can use woodchips or even rock. However, the most effective ground barrier is crushed up eggshells. Many insects/pests have sensitive abdomens. Scraping their bellies across cracked eggshells will be sure to keep them out. Crush them up and place them at the base of your plants.

Predator Versus Prey: Every pest that could possibly cause a problem in your garden has a natural enemy. They all have predators constantly seeking them out. The key to this method is research. It is important to not only know your pest, but also to know its predator. After you know which predator you will be recruiting, you will need to find out what is going to attract your ally to your garden. Generally speaking, plants like mint, fennel, basil and citronella attract many predators that will not harm your garden and rid you of pests quickly. If you can handle having a few parasitic wasps around, this is an effective and easy way to get rid of various pests.

Traps: Another way to achieve a pest free garden is to utilize traps. They are non-toxic and extremely effective. The concept is simple: pests wander into the trap, become stuck and aren’t able to free themselves. This is a very basic and efficient method of pest control.  Check out this learning center for some additional information on using traps!

Weeding: If you were trying to seek something out and get rid of it, would it benefit you to give it a place to hide? I doubt it. It is important to not help your pests out! Keep your garden free of weeds and other objects that an insect or pest could hide behind. This will not only make your garden more aesthetically pleasing, but it will also make getting rid of your invaders easier.

Getting rid of pests without harming your soil isn’t necessarily the easiest task to accomplish. However, with these tips, you should have some new knowledge that will aid you in the battle that is keeping your garden pest free and having the healthiest soil possible.


Glenn Mitcham is an avid gardener and finds enjoyment in being able to share his experiences with those also interested in the complex world that is gardening. When he isn’t waging a full scale war with garden pests, he enjoys mountain biking and rocking out with his cocker spaniel.