Many people use chemical pesticides to control their unwanted backyard visitors, whether through a pest control service, or one of the many home products available at commercial retail stores. These products can be effective at reducing the number of pests. However, some people prefer not to add additional chemicals to their outdoor living environment unless they absolutely have no choice. Before you get to that stage, you may consider try some natural alternatives to help your critter problems.
By supporting specific kinds of wildlife in your garden and backyard, you can help to naturally reduce the number of unwanted pests that you see in your yard and garden. Here are some suggestions:
* Bats - Bats eat thousands of flying insects, including mosquitoes, every night. By creating places for them to live in and around your yard, you will help encourage them to spend more time near your property, eating the bugs you don't want around. Check out this page from the Organization for Bat Conservation on how to attract more bats near your home.
* Beneficial insects - There are many "good" bugs that you want to see in your garden and yard, including ladybugs, praying mantis, dragonflies, and other insects that are predatory (eat other insects). Limiting your use of chemical pesticides will allow these natural pest controllers to move in and help you keep pests away.
* Chickens, ducks, and other fowl - Many suburban households have taken to raising chickens for meat and eggs. But did you know that they can be effective pest control tools as well? Your chickens will happily consume slugs, ants, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and other pests that you don't want around, so let them roam to help you control insect pests! Read this Mother Earth News article about controlling pests just by letting your birds do the work!
* Frogs and toads- Frogs and toads also eat a variety of common garden pests and can help keep your garden and yard a pest-free zone! These animals are particularly sensitive to chemicals in their environment, so be careful if you do choose to apply them. For great ideas on how to encourage frogs in your backyard, read more from the National Wildlife Federation!
There are many positive, chemical-free changes you can make to increase the number of pest-fighting animals you have in your backyard and decrease the unwanted ones! By working to make your backyard and garden a healthy outdoor habitat, you can help make your yard better for your family, too!