Common Garden Pests and How to Get Rid of Them

Common Garden Pests and How to Get Rid of Them

Left unchecked, pests can wreak havoc on lawns, gardens and landscaped elements. In extreme cases, professional remediation is needed to undo the damage and loss of property value they can cause. Garden pests are a common problem when it comes to both residential and commercial landscaping in Calgary, and the Mirage Landscaping team has the advanced expertise you need to keep them at bay.

If your home or business has a pest problem, we’re here to help. To get you started, here’s a primer on the major types of pests we have in southeast Calgary and what you can do to stop them before things get out of hand.

Ward Off Mosquitoes

Though last summer was a great year for mosquitoes in southern Alberta (meaning, there weren’t that many of them), experts are predicting that this year will be different. That means you’ll need to take some extra steps to keep them in check.

Here are our commercial and residential landscaping pro tips for making your home or business an unfriendly place for mosquitoes:

  • Eliminate pools of standing water from your property
  • Alternately, you could build a birdbath; birds eat mosquitoes, and mosquitoes are attracted to the stagnant water in birdbaths
  • Use a misting system to create an invisible barrier that repels mosquitoes
  • Ensure your window screens are intact, without damaged areas where mosquitoes could enter buildings
  • Get a bug zapper, mosquito magnet or ultrasonic bug repellent device for your patio or yard
  • Try tiki torches or citronella oil
  • Keep your lawn short

Following these tips should take a bite out of the mosquito population on your property, so be sure to give them a try if you’ve been having problems.

Send Ants Packing

Ant infestations can be a nightmare for property owners, and if you’re dealing with one, you have two main options: change the conditions so the ants pack up and head elsewhere, or kill them off.

If you’re looking to drive the ants away, your first step is to find their nest. Once you do, you can use one of these two primary strategies to get them to move elsewhere:

  • Pour boiling water on the anthill, and flood its interior
  • Spread talcum powder or diatomaceous earth in and around the nest

Killing the ants is usually more effective, though less humane. There are plenty of products on sale at home improvement stores that will achieve this objective, so give them a try as a starting point. As a homemade alternative, you can mix boric acid with sugar water, which will kill off the ants when they drink it.

Repelling Aphids

Aphid infestations can be devastating to plants, with wilted or yellowed leaves and stunted growth being the tell-tale signs. If you have a suspected or confirmed problem with aphids, here’s what you can do:

  • Prune away parts of plants that are most heavily affected
  • Blast affected plants with a very strong spray of water to knock remaining aphids off
  • Apply botanical insecticides to kill off any remaining aphids, or introduce natural predators like lacewing and ladybugs

If the problem persists, get in touch with the Mirage Landscaping team and we’ll dispatch a specially trained crew to deal with it.

Dealing with Wasps and Hornets

Wasps and hornets can be tricky to deal with, and this is often a job best left to the pros. However, if you’re going to go after a wasp or hornet nest, use aerosol sprays, approach the nest with caution, and wear long clothing. It’s also best to tackle the task during the early morning or late evening hours, when these bugs are at low activity levels.

For further tips, please check out our previously published article on dealing with wasps and hornets.

What to Do about Red Lily Beetles

The red lily beetle is a relatively new arrival in Calgary, and they can utterly decimate lilies. Whenever you purchase lily bulbs, it’s important that you take a moment to check for the presence of these destructive beetles. Doing so will help protect your garden, and it will also assist in keeping the red lily beetle population as low as possible.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Check the soil surrounding lily plants you purchase, particularly if they did not originate in Alberta
  • Manually remove any adult beetles or larvae you find
  • Apply diatomaceous earth to the soil to kill any remaining beetles and prevent larvae from growing

Adults are easy to spot: they’re bright red and about one-quarter of an inch long. Larvae are smaller, with a slimy yellow-orange appearance.

Trust Mirage Landscaping for All Your Property Upkeep Needs

Mirage Landscaping is an affordable provider of professional property upkeep and landscape construction services, specializing in residential and commercial maintenance in southeast Calgary. If you’re suffering with a particularly difficult problem with pests, or if you require any other maintenance or upkeep services, please contact us to get a fast, free service quote.


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