Gardening: How to get rid of ‘harmful pests’ this winter – ‘love to hide’

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Gardeners work hard on their outdoor spaces throughout the spring and summer and leave the winter time as a period of rest and rejuvenation. Some crops and plants do grow in the colder weather, albeit at a much slower rate. Pests can also continue to be a nuisance in the cold weather, but one expert has shared how to deter them.

Preventing and eliminating winter garden pests always starts with good garden sanitisation.

This includes cleaning greenhouses as well as making sure what needs to be sprayed with winter wash is done so when the cold weather hits.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, one expert explained how to get rid of “harmful” pests this winter.

Angela Slater, Hayes gardening expert, said: “A hard winter can see off a lot of harmful pests.

“If your herbaceous borders have been mulched, just rake it over before a hard frost is forecast and any sheltering bugs will be exposed to the weather.”

Weeds should also be removed as these can be a haven for pests during the colder months.

The majority of insects can be removed by hand or by using an appropriate insecticide.

However, the majority of these are based on weather conditions and so it is important to read the label before using.

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The expert added: “Feeding the birds is not only a lifeline to the birds but they can also search around in your borders and find the grubs.

“If you have fruit trees, remove any leaf debris from around the trunk and rake over the exposed soil to give the birds a chance of finding the grubs.”

Shrubs and fruit trees can also be sprayed with a winter wash.

The gardening expert said that this will “kill any overwintering mites and aphids”.

The wash usually contains an oil which causes the pests to suffocate.

Angela added: “Make sure you spray on a still dry day and try to get into all those small crevices where pests love to hide.”

Another way to help prevent pests is to clean the greenhouse, if you have one.

Angela said: “Give your greenhouse a good clean with a mild bleach solution before you add your tender perennials.

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“Make sure you get into any crevices where the bugs may hide.”

Cleaning the greenhouse can also let more light in, allowing plants inside to flourish.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) said: “It may not be the most glamorous of winter tasks but cleaning out greenhouses, gutters and water butts is an important one.

“Cleaning greenhouses, whether glass or plastic, greatly improves the growing environment for plants.

“By removing algae, moss and grime it lets in more light and helps control pests and diseases too.”

The RHS warned gardeners that they should pay attention to propagation areas and equipment.

They said: “Young plants are especially vulnerable to diseases.”

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