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Pest Prevention Beats Pest Control: 20 Tips To Prevent Outdoor Pests

The article on this page is original, but has been published in other places on the Internet.

Pest prevention, Pest control, Pest management, Pest prevention tips

This should require no explanation, it is just plain and simple. Stopping pests before they start makes more sense than having to control them when you have an infestation. Like house fires, or auto accidents, it is smarter to avoid them, than to deal with the consequences, no matter what kind of insurance you have!

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When we talk about controlling pests, we are really starting somewhere about mid way through the process. Controlling them means we already have them.

The best place to start is before we have the pest. Would you prefer to have good medical care after an accident, or the ability to avoid the accident?

Listed below are a few tips on keeping pests out of your environment. Some are for bugs, and some for weeds, and I am sure you can come up with some of your own.

1. Don't "over water" your lawn and landscape beds. Many weed pests, and bug pests enjoy excess water, and may decide to take up residence in the new sea side resort in your landscape. Over watering fuels fungus, and bacteria as well.

2. Scalping your lawn, weakens the scalped areas turf, and allows weed invaders to take the place of the weakened grass.

3. Waiting too long between mowing's, can allow weeds time to reach seed head maturity, and plant themselves in your nice green lawn. Too much growth also provides cover for insects.

4. When you have waited too long to mow, change your mowing height, so that you take off less leaf blade, and then mow again in a few days at a lower cutting height. Do this in increments until you reach your desired cutting height.

You should never remove more than one third of the top at a time. Taking too much off at once will leave your lawn in a weakened condition, inviting more bugs and weeds to take over.

5. Don't fertilize too late in the year. If you do, you may be fertilizing winter weeds instead of grass.

6. Avoid aerifying late in the fall. Aerifying at that time, will plant the weed seeds that would have otherwise rotted on top of the ground.

7. Use good cultural practices, like proper fertilization, mowing, and irrigating so that you avoid those bare spots that invite weeds to live in your lawn.

8. Avoid mowing weedy outside areas before you mow your lawn. If you have to do this for some reason, stop and thoroughly clean your mower between the two areas.

9. Don't create low areas or places where water backs up and becomes a breading place for mosquitoes, if you have already done this, find a way to drain and fill the area, or find a better way of making a permanent drain.

10. Mow away from your landscape beds and garden to avoid throwing grass, weed clippings, and seed into them.

11. Don't leave jagged or ragged cuts, or part of a limb sticking out beyond the callous of the joint when you prune a tree. If you do, you are doing the equivalent of hanging a sign on the tree that reads: "Insects and Disease Eat Free Here!"

12. Use plants native to your area when you are landscaping. Native plants are already resistant to native pests, are comfortable with your climate and average rainfall, and they won't break out into the environment and eat the forest.

13. Avoid using manure that has not been composted as a fertilizer. Many weed Seed survive the animals digestive tract, and they have the manure to help them grow strong.

14. Bird seed, usually contain some weed seeds. Don't throw them where you don't want weeds.

15. Avoid  anything that would weaken your plants, because weak plants invite disease and pests. Such practices as spraying water on the leaves of a plant in direct sunlight should be avoided.

16. Remove any brush or debris which might provide a staging area for an insect invasion. Keep such piles as far away from your landscape as possible.

17. As much as possible, keep areas adjacent to your property, such as right of ways, clean and free of brush weeds and debris. If it is someone else's property, or a vacant lot, get permission from the owner first. Bugs love hiding places where they can congregate before an invasion.

18. When building something, or adding on to your landscape take into account the effect of what you are about to do. Here are a couple of examples:

In some parts of the country, any concrete in full sun is a fire ant magnet.

Some types of lighting, directly on, or immediately adjacent to a lawn, may cause a June bug invasion. This invasion may be followed by a grub invasion, which may then be followed by an armadillo and mole invasion.

19. Avoid lawn compaction. Areas with heavy foot traffic, are likely to have poor quality turf, and are subject to invasion by weeds that like compacted areas. If you have compaction, loosen it by aerifying.

If the area is getting traffic because it is convenient, you could make a paved foot path through the area, or you could plant or build something that would discourage people from walking that direction.

20. Don't build your home next door to a swamp!


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