How to Beat Bugs in Your Garden

Reader Contribution by Mother Earth News Staff
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Attract predatory insects, such as ladybugs, to your garden by planting a range of flowers and cover crops so there’s something blooming all year round. You can also leave some biennial crops, such as onions or carrots, in the ground to flower early the next year. A handy selection of suitable flowers can be found in our Garden Planner.

Install bought or homemade bug hotels and let patches of grass grow a little longer. Leave dead wood in corners of the garden, and a few clumps of nettles as breeding areas for beneficial bugs.

Install a pond, large or small, for frogs and toads that will eat slugs and insects, and to provide a watering hole for insect-eating birds. Include trees, shrubs and hedges in your garden to provide nesting sites and food for birds.

Row cover barriers of insect mesh will exclude flying pests, such as aphids and carrot flies. You can also add barriers like this to a garden plan. Start by selecting “Garden Objects” in the “Garden Planner” selection bar, and then scroll through to select what you need.

Naturally, to install barriers, you’ll need to know what pests are heading your way and when. If you see any pests or beneficial insects in your garden, please visit and report them to help build a pest early-warning system.

Learn more about controlling garden pests in this video.

Get More Tips with These Great Gardening Resources

Our popular Vegetable Garden Planner can help you map out your garden design, space crops, know when to plant which crops in your exact location, and much more.

Need crop-specific growing information? Browse our Crops at a Glance Guide for advice on planting and caring for dozens of garden crops.

More Videos

Watch more videos on gardening techniques and other self-reliance, DIY topics on our Wiser Living Videos page.

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