Even though you may think a harsh winter would be great for getting rid of garden pests, some can lay dormant ready to pounce in the spring, while others actually thrive during the winter months. Let’s take a closer look at some of winter’s worst garden pests, and what you can do to stop them destroying your plants.

In the winter you can still call on pest control in the local area. There’s been a particular boom with snail, slugs, and woodlice in London’s suburban gardens this year. So a local pest controller can really help you with your insect pest control.

Lots of garden pests have evolved so that they can survive some of the most extreme temperatures. Snails and slugs can survive the cold by finding shelter around the garden. They then remain dormant until the weather warms back up.

Some types of snail are known to hibernate during the coldest months.But slugs are very sneaky. And they seem to be especially hardy, with the ability to survive freezing conditions. Even extremely low temperatures don’t keep these slimy pests at bay. Population numbers are reported to be relatively unaffected following the coldest British winters.

Part of the reason for the successful survival during winter for these pests is that they usually hide away in underground shelters where the temperature doesn’t drop too low.

Slug eggs also overwinter in large numbers, probably surviving the chill by ‘supercooling’ – lowering their normal freezing points.  It’s easy to naturally protect your garden from these slimy pests. You can spread crushed eggshells around your more vulnerable plants. Slugs and snails hate this because they won’t want to rub their belly across them, so they stay from your plants. Using salt can also deter them from your plants, although you will have to keep reapplying it if it’s wet or frosty outside.

Other pests like flies and cutworms are known to spend the winter in your soil, ruining your winter veg and even the plants you’ve planted to come up in the spring. Digging and turning your soil in the winter can expose these pests, and the weather and birds will do your pest control for you.

One pest that appears more active than others during winter are those little blackflies that hover around plants in the colder season. Most keen gardeners hate these annoying pests, called fungus gnats. They don’t come high up on the list of insects that kill plants, but they can cause damage as they eat plant roots. Not to mention the fact that they will get in your home and cause quite an infestation around your house plants.

Aphids can also be a big problem in winter as they can survive in your plants and hedgerows. Some species survive through winter, but most types have at least eggs that are hardy and capable of ‘super cooling’ through the coldest spells and ready to hatch and munch on your garden come spring.

There’s not much you can do other than keep a keen eye out for them and pick them off by hand. You can also use pesticide sprays if you don’t want to go the all-natural route.

Pests can be a problem all year round, so you can’t let your guard down in the winter. Remember to keep up your pest prevention routine to protect your plants this winter.

Published by Mudassar Ali