Snails and Slugs:
Snails and slugs are most active just before or as soon as the rain arrives and at night. Here are a few methods to control these two:
Removing the snails and slugs by hand - best done at night with a torch.
Using a container with a small amount of beer which attracts slugs and snails to fall into the dish and drown (Fig 1).
Snail traps are also available through retail outlets. Sprinkle snail bait around under the bushes, wallings and rock outcrops where they hide.
Using snail pellets is effective, but potentially harmful to wildlife, pets and children. Iron based snail killers are the safest alternative.
Some eco-friendly preventative measures can be taken to protect your garden from these pests.
Several insect and animal predators are extremely effective at naturally counteracting some pests. These are lace wings, lady bugs, hover flies, caterpillar parasites, parasitic wasps and praying mantis. The pests that they pray on can include mealy bugs, mites, moth eggs, caterpillars, whiteflies, cabbage loopers, thrip, leaflopper, flea beetles and scale insects. To get these insects into your garden use companion planting. Start by growing herbs like coriander, fennel, parsley and other flowers such as daisies, dandelions, marigolds, sunflowers, thistle, and yarrow (Fig 2).
Their flowers encourage these insects to lay their eggs into grubs, aphids and other pests in the garden. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae feast on the host.
A healthy garden is less likely to succumb to insect attacks. Keep plants well fed, watered and mulched and apply seaweed extract as a preventative measure.
Insect traps are also an option to use as a preventative measure.
Spraying unwanted pests:
Some gardeners make their own organic pesticides that taste so terrible that your pests will move on. Two examples are mixing garlic, chilli and onion or mixing kelp and neem oil.
Pyrethrum sprays, which are made from flower extracts, are effective but tend to linger, therefore they can damage new arrivals of good insects.
There are many eco-friendly and chemical sprays available to remove all of your garden pests. It is advisable to confirm what your pests are and then ask your Bunnings Team Member.
Always follow dosage rates and safety instructions.