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Recommended equipment
Beat The Bugs Safe Protecting  

Netting to protect against birds, butterflies, deer, rabbit, carrot root fly, cabbage root fly and caterpillars, or make a garden cloche or growing tunnel or increase the growing height of garden hoops with a hoop extension kit

Biological Pest Control varieties available to defeat slugs, vine weevil, aphids, whitefly and spidermite.

Slug Barriers such as copper tape, copper rings, collars, shocka mats, mulch mats and Nemaslug biological pest control.  View our slug copper ring video clip here

Cabbage Collars to deter cabbage root fly.  

Anti carrot fly screen to deter carrot root fly. View our video clip here

Fruit Cage will totally enclose the space with netting supported by uprights.

Wildlife Habitats to encourage beneficial insects.

Grazers rabbit control stimulates plant growth and rabbits dislike the taste

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Slugs & Snails
Potential Threat

Can cause damage on the surface of the soil and eat young stems and leaves.

Prevention Methods

• Mulch mats and slug barriers will discourage slugs and snails from going near plants.

• Slug traps can be baited with milk. They will attract the slugs which fall in and drown. The contents will need removing at regular intervals.

• A biological pest control can be used which kill slugs underground where 95% of slugs are to be found. These comprise of adding tiny nematodes which are already naturally available in the soil. They are prey on different types of insect pests. They are totally safe for children to use and cause no damage to wildlife.
Pigeons
Potential Threat

Growing tips can be eaten by pigeons. Other birds sometimes attack young plants, but pigeons are the worst offenders.

Peas, beans, broccoli and pak choi are particularly attractive to pigeons. All birds enjoy snacking on soft fruit such as strawberries and raspberries while starlings are very keen on cherries.

Prevention Methods

• Cover vulnerable plants with anti-bird netting or more specifically an anti-pigeon netting for the pigeons themselves.

• Humming lines can be placed around and across vulnerable crops. These need to be taut. They make a constant low pitched noise as breezes pass across them which deters birds.

• Large quantities of soft fruits or vulnerable vegetables can be protected using a fruit cage. This is a totally enclosed space made of metal poles upon which netting is fixed.

• Bird scarers - these need to be something which moves and makes a noise. Try compact discs tied to bent over poles; or plastic shopping bags tied to poles which will rattle in the wind.
Mice & Rats
Potential Threat

Seeds may be dug up by mice and rats and then eaten. They will do this to newly planted seeds as well as young seedlings. The young seedlings will be scattered around the seed tray or vegetable plot and the seeds at their base will have been eaten.

They are especially fond of sweetcorn, pea and bean seeds.

Prevention Method

Cover seeds and young seedlings with netting.
Rabbits
Potential Threat

• Rabbits are a big problem in country areas. They may look fluffy and cute but cause massive problems if you are growing vegetables.

• Rabbits scratch the earth and dig it up. Newly cultivated soil is attractive as it is easy to dig. Seeds that have been planted are dug up and scattered.

• Rabbits will eat leafy growth and stems. They will eat almost any young crops. By eating the growing tips, they stop the plant from growing.

• Rabbits will eat plants ready for harvesting including onions. They have even been known to break down sweetcorn and eat the cobs. They will dig up root crops.

Prevention Methods

• Counteract the threat of rabbits by totally enclosing vulnerable plants in netting and fences.

• You can water “Graziers” onto plants that rabbits dislike the taste of and plants find stimulating for growth.

Aphids
Potential Threat

• Aphids is a general term used to describe greenfly and blackfly.

• They breed in massive numbers - all aphids during the summer are female. The young grow up in a week and then start to breed themselves.

• Aphids suck the sap from plants, and in so doing weaken the plant. They pass on viruses which attack the plant.

Prevention Method

• Ladybirds are the best deterrent. Put up a ladybird tower to encourage ladybirds to live in the vicinity. They will eat large quantities of aphids each day. Also encourage hoverflies and lacewings.

• Use a biological pest control to introduce ladybirds into your area.
Flies
There are flies which cause problems for specific crops. Most common are spidermite, onion fly, carrot fly, cabbage root fly and flea beetle.

Potential Threat of Spidermite

Spidermite mainly attacks tomatoes, strawberries and cucumbers. Leaves turn yellow then brown. Leaves seen under a microscope look like threads on a spiders web.

Prevention Method

Use a biological pest control and add tiny nematodes to those that already naturally exist in the soil. These will prey on the spidermite. They are totally safe for children to use and cause no damage to wildlife.  

Potential Threat of Onion Fly

An attack of onion fly can be recognized by onions or leeks turning yellow and keeling over. This is caused by maggots eating the plant roots and then eating the bulbs.

Prevention Methods

• Grow companion crops to affect the insect's sense of smell - carrots, marigolds, nasturtiums, etc.

• Instantly remove any plants affected by the pest.

• Practice crop rotation so that the pest does not build up in the soil.

Potential Threat of Carrot Fly

Carrot fly attacks can be recognized by discoloured and wilting foliage. Grubs eat the roots.

Prevention Methods

The flies cannot fly high so:

• Grow under a layer of fleece.

• Put a barrier of polythene around the plants, or grow in a raised bed.

• Time sowings to avoid peak hatching periods  - sow in early summer rather than spring.

Potential Threat of Cabbage Root Fly

These will attack all types of brassicas including kohl rabi and cauliflowers. Plants may wilt and die. White grubs can be seen around the roots.

Prevention Method

Collars fixed around plant stems are a deterrent.

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