How To, Pest Advice, Pest Control

Most gardeners might find the presence of birds in their garden very relaxing and interesting. It’s lovely to hear them singing and they are a great help with insect control.

But sometimes birds can become pests themselves, causing more harm than good! Tired of big birds scaring away other wildlife? Fed up of cleaning bird mess off your patio? Here are some helpful precautions you can take to be free of birds in your garden.

 Keep birds away from garden

1. Removing Food Sources

Stop attracting birds to your garden by removing or protecting any food sources. If you grow your own fruit or have put down seeds recently, consider covering your crops with netting so birds can’t ruin your efforts.

If you’re still keen on regular visits from smaller birds, try using hanging feeders. Larger birds such as pigeons find it  difficult to get the food so will give up. Alternatively, if you are using a flat table feeder, try putting a hanging basket dome upside down on the table so only smaller birds can reach the seeds.

2. Ultrasonic Repellers

One modern and very effective way of scaring birds away is by using an ultrasonic repeller. They give out an output that birds can hear and will deter them from resting in the area. Different ultrasonic repellers allow you to change the frequency of the ultrasonic output meaning it will not affect people or any pets within the house, but will still stop the birds.

pestbye bird repeller

3. Anti Bird Spikes

Anti bird spikes are easy to lay and can be placed anywhere such as window sills, guttering and fencing. It will stop larger birds from perching and soiling the garden. They are long lasting and and are blunt at the tips so will not cause any harm to birds. Anti bird spikes can be made from different materials, the most popular being a translucent polycarbonate which helps with blending into the surroundings so they don’t cause too much of an eye sore.

4. Bird Proof Gel

Bird proof gel is a tacky substance that can be applied to anywhere that birds will try to rest such as fence tops and window sills. Gel works similarly to anti bird spikes in that it makes perching on ledges very uncomfortable to birds due to the sticky effect. It does not harm the birds and is very discreet compared to spikes, so could be used as a more efficient alternative.

bird in garden

5. Bird Distress Calls

Another way of keeping birds away is to play recordings of bird distress calls or predator calls. Birds are very sensitive to sound so when they hear these calls they instinctively leave the area as they think they are in danger.

6. Visual Deterrents

Decoys and scarers such as figures or statues of larger birds or animals might intimidate birds into leaving the area. You can also use objects that move in the wind such as scare rods or wind chimes, simply hang them up and the wind does the job.

bird scarer
Have a go at making your own windmills or wind chimes! It is a fun activity for children and is very effective in scaring birds away, with a bonus of adding a bit of colour and decoration to your garden.

 

Animals, How To, Pest Advice, Pest Control, Spiders

A video has surfaced on social media, reminding us of our great fear of spiders (scroll down to see it – it’s a great watch). In late summer/ autumn, there is an abundance of our eight legged friends, who seem to appear from nowhere.  For the majority of us, these cause minor heart attacks, and we do anything to rid of them. Thankfully there are various ways to rid of spiders, so fear not. Also, if you’re reading this and you’re in the UK, the chances of you seeing a poisonous spider are very, very low so please don’t worry.

Electronic Repeller – a modern way to repel spiders, electronic repellers work through simply plugging the device in a plug socket and emitting sound waves to deter spiders. The ultrasonic wave frequencies (which are distributed per room) are uncomfortable for spiders, but inaudible to humans, children and pets. Electromagnetic wave devices operate throughout the whole house via the wiring of your house (but electric devices aren’t affected).

Hand held catchers – coming in the form of a hoover or a brush, hand held catchers are a humane, simple method to manually remove spiders you see hiding in the corners of your room or underneath furniture. Depending on which device you use, you simply extend the catcher arm, catch the spider and then release it elsewhere (say at the very back of your garden).

Sprays – used as a preventative method, sprays are an effective and humane way to form a natural barrier to prevent spiders from arriving in the first place. Ideally you should spray where you think a cobweb will form ie window frames or doorways.

Webs – similar to sprays, removing the source of the issue is a good preventative method. By removing the spider’s home, they will be forced to locate elsewhere (and yes this might mean elsewhere in your house if you’re really unlucky). If you notice a web with a spider on it, wear gloves and place both the web and the spider in the garden if you’re feeling brave.

Cobweb, Network, Networking, Nature, Close, Lichtspiel

 

Homemade – although one of the most common ways to rid of a spider you see, it can be a challenge for those with a huge fear of arachnids. You will need a piece of paper and a glass for this homemade method.  Simply place a glass or cup over the spider, slip the piece of paper under the glass (ensuring the spider doesn’t escape) and carry until you reach somewhere far, far away from your house (or the back of your garden maybe).

Let us know how you plan to rid of creepy crawlies from your house!

AmieAmie is a marketing enthusiast, having worked at Primrose since graduating from Reading University in 2014.

She enjoys all things sport. A keen football fan, Amie follows Tottenham Hotspur FC, and regularly plays for her local 5 a side football team.

To see the rest of Amie’s posts, click here.

 

Cats, Geoff, How To, Insects, Mice & Rats, News, Pest Advice, Pest Control, Press Releases, Primrose.co.uk, Spiders

Electronic pest repellers are quickly becoming a must have in many households, keeping pests out at the flick of a switch. Here at Primrose we are always striving to innovate in our products, and we recently took a deeper look into some of our competitors to see what else was on offer across the pest control market. While hoping to find ways to improve our own designs, we discovered many retailers were offering products which didn’t perform as advertised. Here’s a little insight into some of our findings and a look at some products which you should be avoiding.

Product 1

The first product is a Solar Garden Ultra Sonic Pest Repeller, bought from eBay. As the product is advertised as a twin speaker product – clearly displaying two speakers on the front of the casing – you would expect it to utilise both of these, right? Wrong. When opened up you can clearly see it is not wired to the second speaker, which is just a fake covering and not a speaker at all. We believe this to be a way to cut costs during the manufacturing process but this is clear false advertising and the pest repeller would not perform how you would expect.

Twin speaker pest repellerNo wiring to second speakerFully disassembled product

Product 2

Next we tested one of the most popular pest repellers on eBay, the Whole House Ultrasonic Plug In Pest Repeller. This is available through lots of resellers on eBay and is typically sold in multiple deals. The product suggests on the front of the casing that it uses electromagnetic technology to rid your home of pests. However, when you take a look at the inner workings, the product is completely void of an electromagnetic component altogether. This would render the product pretty useless over larger areas and definitely would limit its use within an entire household.

Popular electromagnetic pest repellerDisassembled productNo electromagnetic component

Product 3

Finally, we looked at another product which claimed to be an electromagnetic pest product, suitable for the whole house. This time we opted to compare it to a Primrose product, the Budget Rat and Mouse Repeller which is near identical. However upon further inspection the product also has false claims of electromagnetic technology. The pest repeller also just generally lacks many features of other whole house devices, such as amplification circuitry and power management circuits.

Comparison to Primrose product

We were genuinely shocked at just how many products on the market are misleading consumers into buying products using deception and manufacturing shortcuts. Here at Primrose we don’t rely on false claims, and you can trust us if we say something is in a product, it’s in the product.

 

GeoffGeoff works within the Primrose marketing team, primarily on anything related to graphics and design.

He loves to keep up with the latest in music, film and technology whilst also creating his own original art and his ideal afternoon would be lounging in a sunny garden surrounded by good food, drink and company provided there is a football nearby.

While not an expert, his previous job involved landscaping so he’s got some limited experience when gardening.

See all of Geoff’s posts.

George, Greenhouses, How To, Pest Advice, Pest Control, Slugs & Snails, Spiders

Greenhouse Pest Control

Greenhouses are wonderful tools for keen gardeners, offering a much needed space to tend to gardening projects outside of the usual summer season. But while protecting your plants from the elements, greenhouses can also be prone to sheltering pests and diseases that will ruin all your hard work. Armed with our top greenhouse pest control tips, you should be well equipped to give your plants the best protection possible.

1. Keep your greenhouse clean

As with any form of disease or pest prevention, cleanliness is the number one priority. As part of your general upkeep, it’s worth thoroughly emptying and cleaning out your greenhouse once a year. This involves washing down the windows and surfaces, hosing off the floors and cleansing all the pots. Doing this should give you a fresh, pest-free start for growing each year.

2. Inspect your plants

It’s vital to check over all your plants before they enter the greenhouse in order to prevent pests spreading inside. Just as flowers and crops love the warmth of a greenhouse so too do bugs, and they multiply in the heat. So give any new plants a thorough inspection for signs of insects or larvae on the leaves or stem before bringing them inside.

3. Disinfect your tools

Most gardeners will regularly use the same tools all round the garden, transporting them around the shed, flowerbeds, lawn, vegetable patch, compost heap and greenhouse. This means they can pick up pests from the soil outside and infest the plants inside the greenhouse. So to be extra careful, it’s worth giving your spades, trowels and other tools a good clean every now and again – a soak in soapy water should do fine.

4. Use insect catchers

Chances are, insects will always find a way into your greenhouse. Catch them where they fly, with simple greenhouse pest control products, like hanging fly papers and wasp traps, or using spider spray at the door.

5. Use netting

Obviously, greenhouses need good ventilation and it’s never worth sealing them up completely to stop incoming pests. But you can easily cut down on the number of large flying insects entering by hanging netting across open windows or other vent points.

6. Move pots outside in the heat

In the summer months, greenhouses can often become hot and dry throughout the daytime. Moving potted plants outdoors not only helps cool them down but also reduces the build up of spider mites on the plants. Spider mites increase rapidly in number in dry heat so it’s worth keeping the greenhouse ventilated and also using a mister to keep the humidity up. If you’re going out for the day a good trick is to dowse the floor with water, which will evaporate into the air throughout the rest of the day.

7. Use potting soil

Often regular soil from the garden will be packed full of creepy crawlies, insect eggs and other pests. So for the container plants in the greenhouse, it’s a good idea to pot them in shop-bought potting soil or compost. This should be sterilised free from any pests or diseases and well as being rich in nutrients to help the plants grow.

8. Rotate crops

If you plant directly into the ground inside your greenhouse, clearly you won’t have as much control over the spread of potential pests within that soil. A method of combatting this is crop rotation – each year vary what type of plant you are growing in that piece of ground. This tends to prevent the buildup of pests in the soil, as similar plants usually encourage the same types of pest.

9. Freeze the pests

This is an extreme measure that you could perform once a year if you believe your greenhouse is truly infested. During the winter, allow your greenhouse to enter a chilling period by opening up all the doors and windows for a day or two. The temperature will drop right down, killing off any pests inside, including their eggs and larvae. As long as it’s not cold for too long, the plants should survive this. Obviously, any tropical plants or those that require constant warmth should not be left out for this.

10. Use biological pest control

Many common greenhouse pests, such as vine weevil grubs, whitefly and spider mites can be fought with biological control. Each pest has a corresponding organism that you can introduce to the infested area and it will feed on the pest, keeping its population under control. If the pest is eliminated then the control dies out too due to lack of food source, so you don’t need to worry about them destroying the plants instead. Some of these biological controls are available to purchase.

Hopefully by putting these tips into practice, your greenhouse will remain pest-free and your plants will thrive. Let us know how you get on or if you have any greenhouse pest control advice of your own!

George at PrimroseGeorge works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.

George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!

He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.

See all of George’s posts.