Stopping Fall Pests

If you thought garden pests were a summer problem, you are unfortunately mistaken. Fall brings its own challenges when it comes to pest control and containment, and some fall pests prove even more challenging than the summer ones. Your best plan of attack is to be well-prepared. We’ve done some research on common fall creepy-crawlers and how to keep them at bay with DIY methods!

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Cabbage Worms

Cabbage worms like to let their pupae overwinter on cold-hardy plants. When those pupae come of age the following season, the results are frustrating, to say the least. You may be tempted to let durable plants like kale and Brussel sprout stand during the winter, but these crops can easily become cabbage worm breeding grounds. Cut back and prune plant remains as soon as the growing season is over to prevent future infestations!

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Leaf Beetles

Leaf beetles are a common ailment of Viburnum shrubs. They drop egg cases on the undersides of young tree branches in early fall. Once leaves have fallen, it’s easier to spot these camouflaged cases. You should check your Viburnum plants thoroughly and prune off any affected wood to eliminate the problem. You can continue checking and pruning for leaf beetle eggs throughout the winter and into early spring.

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Squash Bugs

Squash bugs are, by many accounts, the absolute worst. Some gardeners have had to burn their crops in response to an infestation. Some varieties of squash, such as butternut, are resistant to infestations, but don’t let these pesky bugs keep you from enjoying your favorite fall vegetables. Squash bugs, like cabbage worms, like to overwinter on plant debris. Dead leaves, old wood, and rotten growth all make excellent hiding spots. As soon as you see leaves and debris start piling up in your yard, rake it away! Turning the soil can also dislodge some of the bugs’ hiding spots.

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We wrote about keeping deer under control here:  Building barriers from wood, wire, or other materials is a popular method of prevention, but nothing works 100% of the time. If you have a deer barrier, it’s important to check up on it during fall and winter to ensure it has not been damaged by weather or falling branches. A broken deer barrier won’t stop anything!

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Though cute, rabbits can cause major havoc in the garden. Fencing is usually the best way to keep them out, and, on the plus side, they’re a lot less agile than deer. Even a small fence can suffice, but beware of rabbits burrowing underneath the fence to find food. Using a mesh backing that extends about one-foot into the ground should do the trick.

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Mice and Voles

An overgrown lawn is a kind of paradise to mice and voles, so keep your lawn clean-cut for as long as it keeps growing. Mice will try to find indoor habitats as soon as it starts getting cold out, so setting up mouse traps around the perimeter of your house might not be a bad idea.

We hope you found this helpful! Visit our website for more tips and tricks!


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