Advice On Garden Pests

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ADVICE ON GARDEN PESTS

Although many of the creatures that lurk in the great outdoors can give you more than your fair share of trouble - this is only if you let them do so.

Obviously it is better to get them before they get you or your precious plants.

The pests come in various shapes and forms, small to large, some obvious and some hidden.

Think self-preservation here.

Don't let all your hard work be

ruined by these pests.

MOLES

These are lovely looking little creatures but they can turn a garden into something closely resembling a mini building site in a matter of days.

There are several ways of dealing with this problem, but is must be recognised that however successful you are, the moles will keep coming.  Bear in mind that the professional rate is upwards of £10 per mole caught.  So this could turn into a costly operation.

Males and females live apart for most of the year, but in the breeding season - from February to June each year - the males dig runs over large areas in search of a mate.  The resultant young leave the nest at 5 weeks old.  This illustrates how employing a professional mole catcher could be an expensive business.

Many folk will offer their 'home' remedies such as:

1.  Sticking a child's large sized windmill down the hole.

2.  Jeyes fluid.

3.  Sola powered Mole Repellants costing around £10/12 each.

4.  Some countrymen believe urine in the hole is successful. This method has not been tried!

So far the only successful method has been a (reasonably) humane metal  trap.  Ask local advice here.

RABBITS

The Victorians rashly introduced the rabbit to Australia in the 1800's and this has been rued (pun not intended) ever since.

In a garden the best possible advice is to rabbit proof the perimeter of the garden with chicken guage wire mesh.  This will need to be buried 6" beneath the soil to cope with digging by the rabbits.  Otherwise just concentrate your proofing on the vegetable plot.  Depending on where you live, shooting is another option, but proceed with great caution here.

GREY SQUIRRELS

These are pretty little creatures but virtually impossible to control.  A bird food table in the garden is a magnet.

Having tried numerous methods of exclusion it really is a matter of experimentation.  The problem here was solved when the squirrel in question had a serious argument with a car on the road and lost!

BEES

This is not strictly advice on bee control as a pest because of the tremendous benefit a bee is in the garden and to agriculture.  It is only when they sting they become bothersome.  A bee will die after is has stung and if possible the resultant barb should be removed (a pair of tweezers helps here) and then vinegar applied to the wound.

Beware of anaphylaxis reactions that can be dangerous and lead to the death of the person stung.  Prompt, speedy action is necessary.  If a person has been stung and had trouble in breathing or shows signs of collapse, medical help should be sought immediately.  Dial 999 This is serious good gardening adcvice.  Don't delay - time is of the essence.

WASPS

These are unwanted little creatures that pack a nasty sting.  The sting is best treated with ammonia or alchohol.  If possible, move inside for a while as a wasp sting contains a pheremone that will attract other wasps to come and sting you.

A wasp nest is a remarkable thing and can vary from a few inches in length to over 1 foot.  If you should have a wasp nest in your loft it will need to be professionally removed.  If you should find an old nest there is the consolation that it will not be re-occupied the following season and is harmless.

ANTS

The red variety are nasty little creatures and pack a powerful punch in their bite.  To get rid of both black and red ants sprinkle old unwanted talcum powder extensively on and around their holes.  This has an instant effect.  The only advantage black ants have is that they eat aphids.

LILY BEETLES

These insects are unmistakable.  They are similar in size to a ladybird, but without the spots on their back.  The only effective remedy available at the moment is to squeeze them in your fingers to kill them.  Don't be squeamish - just think of the damage these creatures can do to your beautiful lily plants


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