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

Our property was starting to look somewhat dated and needed a landscaping facelift. Cannot tell you how pleased we are with the job done by Mansfield Landscaping. These are some of the hardest working individuals we have seen here in The Villages. Since the completion of our property, several neighbors have stopped by and commented to us on how nice it looks and what a change. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome and will highly recommend Mansfield Landscaping to others, which we already have.

Mike & Cathy Lafferty (The Villages)

Thank you for your great service. You did such a wonderful job on our lawn. I recommend you to every one. Mansfield Landscaping knows what they are doing.

Mr. & Mrs. Angelo Favazzo (The Villages)

We were very satisfied with the professionalism of Mansfield Landscaping. It was a delightful surprise and experience after having pursued this project with four other landscaping companies that did not measure up to Mansfield. They were attentive from first contact. We received a phone call back in under two hours after our first inquiry. All calls were handled in like manner, We had a problem with our irrigation and they promptly attended and fixed the situation. Price was held as quoted no ad-ons or increase for anything.

We received at least three follow up calls to be certain everything was to our satisfaction. It was a breath of fresh air. The house looks new again. We have drive by gawkers.

Karen & Wm L.

We are very pleased with the results in both our yard and lanai. Steve warned us some plants were not hardy and when the frosts got them, he replaced a lot of them without being asked, and with no charge. We thoroughly recommend Mansfield Landscaping.

Kit Hughes (The Villages, Hadley)

We made our decision to go with Mansfield Landscaping after seeing beautifully landscaped homes. First of all, we were very pleased with how easy it was to get in touch with them and to schedule an appointment in a short amount of time. Steve was very thorough with information about everything we needed to know on the phone, and our meeting with Ron was very pleasant. He listened to our ideas and came up with just what we were looking for within our budget. The work crew were very courteous and the job was completed in the time agreed upon with no payment until everything was finished to our satisfaction. We have received many compliments about our landscaping already. We especially love looking at the gorgeous triple Sylvester palm as we sit in our lanai.

Thank you for a job well done!

Dave and Amy Hibbs (The Villages)

Steve Mansfield and his AMAZING crew just finished landscaping our yard. We sat down with Steve on a Sunday evening (yes, he came out on his day off!!), designed the concept of the yard, we went to his nursery on Tuesday and they finished the entire project the following Monday (it would have been sooner but it was over Thanksgiving weekend and they didn't work that Thursday). Steve personally picked out our Queen palms and put in the most beautiful triple Sylvester Palm we've ever seen. As other posts have stated before, he brought out almost double the plants used in the yard to ensure we had plenty of choices. They lay everything out in the beds before they plant so we had an opportunity to move things around to our liking. After everything was completed my husband and I have agreed that Mansfield Landscaping went WAY above and beyond or expectations. We live on a street that is highly traveled (across from the Charlotte Pool and mailbox) and so many people have stopped to tell us how beautiful it is. We recommend Mansfield Landscaping to anyone interested in working with a company that produces professional results and cares so much about his clients.

Anonymous (The Villages)

Mansfield Landscaping LLC sets the benchmark for professional landscaping and exemplary service. Having received horticultural awards for my self-designed/created gardens and hardscape in Pennsylvania, I met my match with Steve Mansfield. I conveyed my ideas, wants, and needs for my Floridian garden/landscaping project. It encompassed a very large challenging space (front and rear of home). Steve took the task at hand adding enhancements and making it more than what I thought it could be. The attention we and this project received from Steve, Ron, the foremen, crew and Lynn (customer service rep) was outstanding. Their expertise, service, and dedication to this project was beyond what was expected. Steve's work ethics and professional attention are commendable. Once you meet Steve, you'll have no reason to look elsewhere. His word is 'gold'. We invite you to our home to see our beautiful lanai setting (garden and patios) and front landscape.

Regis and Vera Painley (The Villages)