One of the most common beliefs by our generation is that cockroaches were the only living creature that could survive a nuclear holocaust. Fortunately, in terms of cockroach control, that belief is just an urban legend.
It’s fortunate because if radiation wasn’t even able to destroy these critters then what chance do we, as home gardeners, have in keeping them under control.
Humans have a special emotion reserved for cockroaches, and it’s something which manages to combine the raw fear of these ugly creatures with a special sort of hateful avoidance. Upon the sight of just one cockroach, most people start heading for the hills and buying every insect or pest prevention product on the market. Outdoor gardens, however, are a bit of a unique situation.
The indoor products used to prevent and kill cockroaches can also kill outdoor plants. While it’s nice to have eliminated the cockroach threat, the dead garden is a drag, and it won’t enhance a home’s appeal very much. Special outdoor solutions promote cockroach control in the garden and prevent new cockroaches from showing their hard-shelled faces in the future, as well.
Diatomaceous Earth and the Plight of Cockroach Control
When treating a cockroach problem indoors, most people resort to sprays and long-lasting poisons which kill cockroaches. These unleash chemicals or scents which prevent new ones from entering the home altogether. This is pretty much the same approach taken in most gardens when using diatomaceous earth, which goes by the abbreviated name “D.E.” This substance actually looks like common flour used in the home. This is ironic given its protection of the common flower placed outside the home.
The substance works by actually causing the cockroaches in a garden to get little cuts all over their bodies. It leads to a great deal of bleeding and ultimately death. Failing that, the cockroaches will at least dehydrate — and that’s good enough for most homeowners. The substance also has the dual effect of warding off other cockroaches who might consider a garden’s contents or location to be ideal and quite tasty. This double effect is the number one way to maintain a garden’s integrity and help prevent the appearance of one of nature’s worst pests.
It should be noted, before purchasing diatomaceous earth for cockroach control, that the substance typically comes in two varieties. The one used in gardens is known as “food-grade” diatomaceous earth, and it’s perfect for getting rid of insect pests. The other kind of diatomaceous earth is actually not safe for humans and pets, and it’s used in many pool filters to help get rid of small debris and other objects which pass through the device. Notably, the kind of D.E. used in pool filters will have a minimal effect on cockroaches, if any.
Cockroach Control is for the Birds
Depending on the type of garden being planted, it might be worthwhile to consider the strategic placement of a bird bath within the typical garden. Birds happen to love killing and eating bugs, and bugs happen to love killing and eating plants. This food chain actually works in favour of many homeowners and gardening enthusiasts. It provides an organic and completely natural way to get rid of the most common pests which typically infiltrate a home garden of any variety.
Installing a bird bath is an ongoing solution that might actually be cheaper than D.E. It promotes a certain natural aesthetic that fits will with the natural environment. It’s organic, certainly, and it’s a one-time installation which is exceedingly more affordable than chemical alternatives like diatomaceous earth. As long as the plants in the garden aren’t also great sources of bird food, gardening pros should invite these winged animals to chow down on some grade-A cockroach throughout the day. They’ll even get a bath while they’re at it, and virtually no animal can turn down a great meal and a relaxing bath.
Work With Nature, and Against Insect Pests, to Promote a Great Garden
Whether gardeners choose to go with a diatomaceous earth treatment and prevention solution, or simply choose to invite the birds over for dinner, there are plenty of great ways to ensure a garden’s integrity. Those ways can be natural and organic, or chemically-based and specialized, but homeowners should know, either way, that there are plenty of avenues toward a roach-free garden during the growing season.
Photo source: John Tann