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They make your life hard by taking over your garden, ransacking the fruits of your labor. They are, of course, pests or pests. These small insects and rodents that devour foliage and sometimes even kill your plants and trees. Pests reign, but there are nevertheless natural tricks to keep them away. In the same way, it is fundamental to recognize your allies among the jungle of small animals that populate your corner of greenery.
There are almost 4000 species and not all of them cause the same havoc, even if most attack fruit trees and roses. Be particularly wary of the apple aphid, green aphid or root aphid which are among the most virulent. Symptoms : generally, the leaves of plants curl before turning yellow. Like the stems, they are sticky, proving the passage of a colony of aphids. The ecological solution: plant endangered roses and fruit trees, lavender, thyme, chives, marigolds or parsley in the heart. Another option is soapy water to spray on the trunk and leaves of trees.
Not very dangerous, they become dangerous when they are numerous. The galleries they dig can damage the roots or prevent water from reaching the plants. In addition, their presence leads to the proliferation of aphids. Symptoms : drying plants. The ecological repellent: put glue on the tree trunks or spray lemon water on the whole plant.
Pay particular attention to the red spider or the yellow mite which attacks both plants and shrubs. Symptoms : they are variable, they are generally small traces left on the plant or small very fine canvases. The ecological repellent: opt for nettle manure which also has the advantage of keeping aphids away. For this, it is enough to chop nettles, to macerate them for several days in a plastic pot.
These invasive insects feed on the sap of a wide variety of plants. Tiny, they are all the more difficult to spot as they take on different appearances. Symptoms : sores on the stem and sometimes even the presence of sooty mold, a fungus that covers plants with a black layer. The ecological repellent: mix black soap with methylated spirits and spread the solution over all the leaves of affected plants.
Flies, mosquitoes, crane fly (or cousin), zeuzere (butterfly), the list of winged pests is long. Tipula larvae attack lawns, the roots of plants in your kitchen garden, as do whitefly larvae. As for the zeuzère caterpillar, it loves fruit trees in your garden. There are also a large number of fly species that attack very specific plants: carrot fly, onion fly, cherry fly ... Symptoms : they vary according to the species. The ecological repellent: many flying insects flee with the smell of lemongrass. Another natural repellant against flies is basil.
Slugs and snails
Under their placid airs, these gastropods are great gourmands who devour your vegetable garden. Symptoms : serrated leaves as nibbled and traces of drool left in their path. The ecological repellent: the slugs are attracted to beer, even if it means drowning in it. Another option is to deposit ash from chimneys all around at risk plants.
Several species are to be feared, in particular the Colorado potato beetle, the chafer, the weevil which make holes in the leaves, the roots ... Some beetles like the bupreste even manage to dig galleries in the wood of oak or pine. Symptoms : foliage dotted with small holes. Depending on the pests, it can also turn brown before falling. The ecological repellent: the same as for snails, scatter wood ashes.
We can cite moles, field mice, mice, dormice, voles, rabbits or rats. They are to be watched closely, munching on or defiling your crops and some, like the rat, even transmit diseases. Symptoms : moles like voles dig galleries with large ramifications and you will recognize their presence by the small piles of earth which will mark out your garden in the event of intrusion. You will find droppings in the garden. The ecological solution: commercially, you will find ultrasonic devices that keep rodents away. Be careful that your pets do not fear them too.
They are not afraid to invest your corner of greenery and to peck your crops. Symptoms : damaged and nibbled fruits and vegetables. The ecological repellent: to scare them, scatter objects that reflect the sun, such as CDs. Also hang mothballs from tree branches.
These animals that control pests
Nature is well done and other animals will help you fight against the most recalcitrant pests. Beasts for goodness love aphids, for example, and it is even possible to buy ladybug larvae commercially. The hedgehog is another weighty ally, fond of beetles, snails and small rodents. Likewise, pests can turn into friends; birds, for example, very often feed on insect pests. To find out more, see our "Diseases" section. Our practical videos on plants and diseases