AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala – Spring’s warmer weather and blooming flowers are a welcomed sight to many people. Gardeners and homeowners everywhere will soon be venturing out to accomplish their spring gardening and cleaning tasks. With spring time comes an influx of new spring pests. It is important to know how to manage these spring pests.
Dr. Xing Ping Hu, an Alabama Extension specialist of entomology and plant pathology, offers the following six tips for managing spring pests:
- Seal Everything
- Insects can squeeze through any gap, crack or opening. The time you spend sealing openings is an excellent investment in prevention of invaders later on.
- Keep Things Clean
- Keep waste around the home cleaned, covered or sealed in tight, raised above the ground containers. Promptly clean up pet excrement. Food left out is an invitation for insects seeking a quick snack and drink. Don’t leave clutter inside or outside where pests can hide.
- Do Not Bring Them In
- Many insects are excellent hitchhikers. Inspect items like potted garden plants, bags of soil and mulch before bringing them in.
- Minimize Excess Moisture and Organic Matter
- Check your home for damp areas. Create unsuitable environments to deter insects. Water plants early in the morning rather than the evening. The water will soak in and the excess will have a chance to evaporate.
- Minimize Hiding Places
- Clean up leaf litter, mow your lawn regularly and discard the clippings away from the home.
- Minimize Contact Between House and Landscape
- Trim plant material that touches the outside of the home. Insects can crawl up a plant and easily onto your home.
Alabama Extension has several publications and resources on managing a variety of pests. To access these resources, visit Alabama Extension online at www.aces.edu.