Many home gardeners strive to create a pest-free yard and garden. Diseases and pest infestations attack many varieties of trees, vegetables, shrubs and flowers, but you can take steps to avoid losing your costly and attractive plants to destructive pests and diseases.
Try non-chemical solutions to combat many types of insect pests. Predatory insects, such as lady beetles, lacewings and spiders, feed on pests without damaging garden crops. Sticky traps capture flying pests like whiteflies. If you do use chemical pesticides, follow all instructions on the label.
Rotate your crops every year to avoid insect infestations. Various types of pests prefer certain varieties of plants and remain in the soil to await the next generation of their preferred food. Crop rotation disrupts their cycle by depriving them of their preferred diet.
Keep dead vegetation cleared from your garden to reduce breeding grounds for pests and diseases.
Control fungus in your garden and lawn by ensuring air circulation and sunlight around garden plants. Fungus thrives on dark and dampness.
Examine compost for mildew, insects and insect eggs before placing it in your garden or yard. Rotting compost can introduce mold spores and insects to your garden and contaminated compost should be discarded. You can purchase sterile compost from your local garden center or landscape supplier to avoid contamination.
Check the roots and stems of plants for the appearance of fleshy white masses--a sign of a bacterial disease called "crown gall." This disease commonly attacks roses, pear trees, plum trees and raspberry plants. Pull out the entire root systems of affected plants to ensure complete removal of diseased vegetation.
Keep pruning equipment and other garden tools as sterile as possible to avoid spreading possible infections among healthy plants.