Top Tips for Keeping Pests Out of Your Landscaping

pest control floridaThere’s nothing more frustrating than putting your heart and soul (plus a solid chunk of your bank account) into landscaping only to have pests destroy it. Here in Florida, we must be ever pest-vigilant, since we seem to get everything from chinch bugs to armadillos.

Deer, rabbits, snails, slugs, caterpillars, worms and insects can wreak havoc on lawns, gardens, trees, flowers and shrubbery in no time. To keep your landscaping intact, you should first make it less attractive to pests. Seal crawl spaces, drain water, cover compost piles, clean up bird seed and eliminate grassy areas that could make good bedding.

Another way to keep pests away is to attract their natural predators into your yard. Your approach may vary depending on the type of pest you’re dealing with. For example, aphids are the prey of ladybugs and lacewings, while ground-dwelling slugs fear lizards, toads and the harmless black racer snakes. Black racers also consume rodents, rabbits and poisonous snakes. Research ways to attract the types of critters you may be willing to live which eliminate your pest problem for you.

Total Elimination – Shooting may or may not be an option, but that involves personal choice and awareness of city and county laws. Smoke bombs and scissor traps kill certain types of pests, but are a gruesome solution. Some orchardists place snap traps baited with peanut butter, nut meats, or rolled oats along mouse runways to catch and kill them. A bait of vitamin D is available. It causes a calcium imbalance in the animals and they will die several days after eating the bait. A more humane and holistic approach is to figure out how to coexist with wildlife.

Poisoning - There are poison baits that can be effective, but they may pose a danger to pets and/or the eco-system. Coffee grounds can be a natural alternative, since wide ranges of pests don’t like the smell of coffee, with the bonus of added nitrogen. Flour, salt, beer is toxic to insects, slugs and snails.

Repellents –Visual, such as high powered motion lights and auditory scare devices can be used to repel animals. Scarecrow sprinklers look like regular lawn sprinklers, except they have a battery-powered motion sensor. Anything that gets in the path of the sensor gets a sudden and intense blast of water. Strong scents such as garlic or pepper spray work wonders. Deer don’t like strong odors like bars of scented soap and cheap perfume. Staking bars of Irish Spring has been known to keep them at bay. Granulated containers of fox or coyote urine can discourage rabbits. Many aromatic herbs, like yarrow, citronella, mint, fennel, catnip, basil, and lemongrass are natural deterrents for garden pests from aphids to potato beetles. As an added bonus, some of these herbs also attract the predators that keep pests under control.

Keep ‘Em Out- For pests like deer and rabbits, blocking access by fencing or cover may be the only real option. Raised beds stop smaller animals. Creeping pests like slugs, snails and caterpillars approach your plants from the ground – so make it a dangerous place. Spread crushed eggshells beneath the targeted plants and creepy-crawlies will move along. Barriers and bushes are another alternative.

Trapped – Trap and release is an additional kind solution if you are dedicated. Some counties will offer traps free of charge.

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What Your Neighbors Are Saying About Mansfield Landscaping

I recently had my villa landscaping done by Steve Mansfield and his crew. They worked hard for 3 days and did an excellent job. I am very happy with the job and everyone who has seen it has told me it looks great. I was quoted 20-30 plants but was given many more to make my property look great at no charge. I was so surprised when Steve called to tell me he was having my driveway, walkway and patio power washed so that the dirt from their work would be cleaned up. True to his word, he sent someone over to do the work and not only does my property look great, but he also cleaned the street where there was dirt from the rock piles. I would recommend him to anyone looking to have their landscape done immediately and done well.

Anonymous (The Villages)

Steve from Mansfield Landscaping did a great job in helping us design our landscaping. Ron and John did an excellent job in seeing that the design was carried out and the final result was way beyond our expectations. They should be very proud of the work that they have completed for us. The entire crew was very hard working, friendly, dependable and polite. They did a great job with the clean up after the project was completed and the job was completed exactly when Steve said it would be done. Excellent and well run company.

Peworchik in Fernandina

Steve & his wonderful team did a wonderful job at our house. We look so pretty now! Feel free to ride by and check us out. They also work very quickly. People have been stopping in front of our house and they love what they see. We are so pleased with the end result. What a “dream team” Steve Mansfield has put together. I would like to thank each and every one of them for a fabulous job well done.

Bill & Toni

I just wanted to thank Mansfield for doing a great job at our courtyard villa in the Villages. the place looks beautiful and we have had a number of nice comments from the neighbors. The work was done in a timely and clean manner. We got just want we wanted and love the way the place looks. Thanks.

Gail and John Simonetti

We highly recommend Mansfield Landscaping if you expect 100+% satisfaction in a timely manner with no hassles. We recently engaged them to make additions and improvements to our current landscaping. We were able to quickly schedule a meeting and have the project completed in a very short time frame. They understood exactly what we were looking for - in fact the results more than met our expectations at which time we requested additional work which was also completed within a few days! They are very professional and an absolute delight with which to do business.

Pat Borror-Stier (The Villages)

Steve did a fantastic job. I enjoyed the relationship with Steve. I spent two or three hours at his nursery talking to him.

My home is for sale and Steve has certainly improved it's curb appeal both front and back. He's very innovative. His suggestions have worked wonders!

Alfie (www.talkofthevillages.com)

We were directed to Mansfield landscaping from a neighbor. She was happy with their work so we decided to give them a try. From our first discussion with Steve and Ron, we knew we were going to be in good hands. They did a fabulous job and we're thrilled with the results. Their knowledge of plants and shrubs was very informative as was their designing talent. We would highly recommend Mansfield landscaping to any one without reservation. Thanks for a job well done.

Peg and Hank