New Home, New Landscape: Toronto Landscaping Strategies for Preventing Pests
A new home allows you to start from scratch. Fresh paint, new carpet, and new landscaping are at the top of many people’s move-in lists.
While you’re planning landscaping for your new home, keep in mind that how you choose to landscape your home can have a big impact on your ability to deter pests — It’s true!
In pest management, some of the best methods in keeping pests from entering your home in the first place are through landscaping. Here are a few tips and ideas to help you make your new home a pest-free zone.
Keep the Grass Cut
This is one chore you probably already planned to stay on top of, but it’s so critical to controlling pests that it deserved a mention! Many pests love luxuriating in taller grass, so keep it mowed regularly as to not create an ideal environment for pests that will eventually want to find a way from your yard to your home.
Beware of Mulch
Mulch is the go-to for many home landscapers for a variety of reasons. It’s easy to find and inexpensive. Plus, it looks nice! But mulch made from wood can also attract pests such as termites, cockroaches, and carpenter ants to your home. Termites and carpenter ants can cause extensive damage, so you definitely don’t want to lay down a welcoming carpet of mulch for them.
If you like the look of mulch, then try mulch made from rubber. It looks the same as wood and can help to tame weeds but won’t attract pests to your home in the process. Rubber mulch is a bit more expensive, but not as expensive as dealing with a termite problem in your home.
Repel with Plants
If you can choose the right plants, then they can act as a natural barrier to pests invading your home. In fact, several herbs and ornamental flowers that will look great in your flower beds also help to keep insects out. Consider adding a few of these to your gardening line-up:
Lavender: This fragrant plant helps to deter mosquitos, flies, fleas, and other insects.
Marigolds: Marigold pull double duty by looking pretty but also repelling aphids, rabbits, and mosquitos. They’re really easy to grow too, in case your thumb isn’t exactly green.
Basil: Basil is good for more than topping your favorite Italian dish, it also helps to deter mosquitoes and house flies from your home.
Chrysanthemums: Chrysanthemums contain pyrethrin, which is actually a component of some pest control products, so you can’t go wrong here. These lovely blooms help to repel fleas, ticks, ants, and cockroaches.
All of these options are perfectly safe to have around your pets, so go wild with a combination of potted and in-ground arrangements!
Think About Plant Proximity
Any shrub or bush you have growing in your garden deserves a discerning eye. That’s because bugs love to hide in the leaves and branches that provide them shelter and food.
You want to keep your shrubs and bushes trimmed as not to provide a superhighway for pests to enter your home. Keep at least 18 inches between any surface of your home and the shrubs and bushes in your garden. Follow this rule for trees, too, since wildlife can go from a tree to your attic or chimney easily.
Some people love to watch wildlife in their gardens, so they attract birds and other animals by installing feeders. The problem is that squirrels aren’t the only ones trying to get in on the delicious seeds you may leave out for birds.
Rats and mice love to forage for easy-to-eat seeds and your feeder is the ultimate smorgasbord. Unfortunately, once a rodent is attracted to a place near your home, they’ll likely explore the inside of your home in search of more food by finding ways to get in.
Once they set up shop, they can breed with abandon, spreading both disease and harmful bacteria. Rodents can also bring in other pests, such as fleas and ticks.
So, if you choose to have feeders, you’ll want to keep them as far from your house as you can. Also, store any seeds or other feeds for your forest friends in airtight containers that cannot be chewed through by rodents.
Landscape Away Your Pests from the Start
A new home is a way to start fresh – something you likely want to do without a bunch of new pests at your door. Incorporate these easy tips into your landscaping plans and you’ll be able to keep pests at bay and even prevent them from coming near your home — not to mention how great your yard will look!
About the Author:
Daniel Mackie, co-owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert and a regular guest on HGTV. He is renowned in the industry as an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions. Mackie and business partner Sandy Costa were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.