We all love a pest-free lawn, but healthy grass – and healthy turf – is a haven to all kinds of creepy crawlies and some even bigger pests too.
Here are some of the usual suspects and how to deter these unwelcome visitors to your lawn so you can enjoy your lush grass undisturbed.
Probably the most common invaders of healthy earth are ants, and people have varying opinions of these.
Most people have a problem with red ants, which will bite, but opinions are more mixed as to whether non-biting black ants are an issue or not.
If you see black ants as an ally, you might even want to encourage them to set up colonies around your lawn, in order to fight off any invading red ants.
To deter ants completely, a commonly recommended home remedy is to mix equal parts of peppermint oil and vodka – which helps it to dilute – into a spray bottle of water, which you then spray around the affected areas of your lawn.
An alternative to peppermint oil is tea tree essential oil, or a combination of these, as both are said to be unpleasant aromas for ants to be around.
You won’t often see a mole, but you can’t miss the mess it leaves behind. Catching moles is a job best left to the professionals, so get help as soon as possible if your lawn has an unwelcome house guest.
Pest control should take care of any moles that have set up home, although a healthy garden will continue to be attractive to future residents too.
There’s not a lot you can do to deter future moles if your garden is in good condition, so in this instance it’s best just to take prompt action if you see the unmissable evidence of a new arrival.
Again, worms are a sign of healthy soil, and they also help to aerate the soil and maintain good growing conditions for grass and the roots it puts down.
The small wiggly piles of soil left on the surface are easily brushed away, and worms will help to control the population of smaller, potentially damaging bugs in the soil, as well as attract birds to your garden after rainfall.
If anything, you should aim to encourage a healthy population of worms in your soil, as they will not usually cause significant damage to turf – and they’re not alone in being ‘pests’ that are actually on the side of the gardener.
Not all visitors to your garden are pests at all, and there are all manner of creatures that are more likely to visit you if your lawn and flowerbeds are in good condition.
These range from bees, birds and butterflies in the daytime, to hedgehogs and foxes after dark, and urban gardens are an essential habitat for many of them.
Before you make your garden too difficult for them to access, consider becoming an ally to these creatures – they will often do their own part in return by eating unwelcome insects and providing you with a free, environmentally friendly pest control service!
Has your lawn lost a battle with pests? We provide a professional lawn laying service, so you can start over armed with these tips for a lush green haven.