In the fall, there’s nothing like snuggling up with a book on the hammock or relaxing by the fire pit. Until the bugs start buzzing. Here in Alabama and many other areas of the country, insects are still active well into autumn.
You can’t speed up the first freeze, but you can use a few fall landscaping tricks to kill off bugs and rob them of winter safe havens.
Clear Debris From the Garden Beds
As the temperature begins to cool off, bugs seek nighttime shelter where they can block the wind and stay warm. The piled-up debris in your flowerbeds is the perfect place to hunker down. While there, the bugs will munch on whatever is growing in the garden. Debris, like mulch, also retains moisture, giving bugs a water source as well.
Clearing out the debris will take away this insect sweet spot so they’re more likely to die rather than thrive. You may also want to prune stems and leaves around garden beds to avoid another debris pile up.
Keep Mulch 2-3” Thick
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about bugs seeking shelter in your fresh mulch. But you can limit the insect activity by keeping mulch to just 2-3” thick. Bonus: shallow mulch will also help prevent plant diseases.
Keep the Lawn Trimmed, Even If It’s Cold
Many lawns don’t stop growing when the fall decorations start going up. Even when the trick-or-treaters come knocking at your door your grass may still need regular mowing. Lawn experts recommend cutting your grass until it stops growing.
If you let your grass get too long there can be seasonal repercussions. Bugs prefer long grass blades since they offer ample shelter. Long blades can also get packed down by snow or leaves and promote mold growth. During the fall, keep the blades cut back to 1.5” tall to help kill off the insects hiding in the lawn. Cutting the lawn will also make grub treatments work better.
Lawn Master Tip: Want some fresh mulch? Run the lawn mover over leaves to chop them up into mulch.
Sprinkle Bt Around Tree Webs
Are your trees covered in webs? That’s a clear sign webworms have moved in for the fall. You can keep webworms under control with the bacterium Bt. It won’t affect people, pets or plants, but Bt will kill just about any caterpillar species. If you only want to target the webworms, make a hole in the webbing and spray the Bt inside.
Refresh Annual Flowers
What if there was a way to add color to your fall landscaping while keeping pests in check? You’re in luck! There are a number of autumn-blooming flowers that repel bugs as much as they attract people. Consider planting:
- Sweet alyssum
- Black-eye Susans
Before planting, remove old annuals that are on their way out. This will take away a food source for slugs and snails. While you’re plucking dead plants out of the garden, it’s the perfect opportunity to also pick out the slugs and snails that feed on them.
Clear Out the Clutter
Clutter in the yard is like an open invitation for insects. Not only does it provide bugs with more places to hide, it can also kill the grass and allow water to pool. Plus, leaving items out in the fall elements is guaranteed to cause damage.
Get Help From Pest Control Professionals
There’s another surefire way to kill yard pests this fall. Professional pest control treatments aren’t just for the spring and summer. Pro exterminators know what type of bug activity to look for in the fall and can keep insects from becoming a problem. This time of year it’s actually common to see yard pests start moving inside. If you see signs of an infestation it’s definitely time to call in the professionals.
Live in Central Alabama? At Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Inc., we customize pest control treatments based on your unique needs and the season. Call us today to schedule a fall treatment!