We Brits love our gardens. Whether we’re stomping around in the soil planting veggies, soaking up some (rare!) sun or simply having five meditative minutes of time-out, the humble back garden is a sanctuary. Until unwanted visitors arrive, that is. From tiny aphids devouring your flowers to foxes digging up the lawn, garden pests can wreak havoc on your precious space. Here’s how to get rid of them quickly and easily.
Common little blighters, aphids will gnaw through your prized flowers faster than a child will devour an icecream. To remedy an aphid problem, first get rid of any currently residing on your plants with a hose – simply rinse them off – then spray the flowers thoroughly with citrus rind spray. You can easily make this at home by mixing the grated rind of one lemon or orange with 500ml of boiling water. Let it sit overnight, then filter out the bits of rind with a fine sieve or coffee filter. Using a spray bottle, apply the mixture to your plants every four to seven days.
Ants are generally harmless creatures and pose little threat to most garden plants, but if you find they’re causing a nuisance, try a few homemade remedies before calling in the exterminators.
Once a fox has moved in to your garden, they’re pretty difficult to shift (unless they’re injured, the RSPCA can’t help), so prevention, not cure, is the name of the game here (although there are several products – sonic sound devices and sprays such as Scoot and Get Off My Garden – which may prove effective if they’ve only recently arrived). To prevent foxes taking up residency:
If you find a fox den in your garden, don’t block it unless you’re sure it’s empty. To check, lightly block the entrances with loose soil or sticks, through which a fox can easily break out. If after a few days the holes are still blocked, pack them more thoroughly with soil. Take care in the spring to avoid blocking cubs into an earth – instead block dens between late summer and late winter.
Moles make a formidable foe to the freshly laid lawn, and can literally tear your garden up overnight. The good news is that they’re quite easy to deter, providing you do so as soon as they make themselves known. There are several effective methods.
Forget turning slugs into a slimy mush with salt, gardeners have several other weapons in the anti-slug arsenal. Try leaving an open tub or can of beer out overnight – they’ll climb into it and can be whisked away in the morning. Alternatively try sprinkling coffee around areas you want to protect, or even spritzing plants with cooled-down coffee – this works well in deterring snails, too!
OVO Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879
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1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount. All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas). All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
3Pay Monthly Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYM OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.
33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.
3% interest: Calculated at 3% per year, paid monthly based on number of days in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. OVO Interest Reward is capped at 12 times the amount of the current direct debit amount and is available to customers paying by advance direct debit. Terms apply: http://www.ovoenergy.com/terms/
95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Based on all new customer signups between 01/02/2016 and 31/07/2016
94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.
Britain's top rated energy provider: Britain's top rated energy provider in the Which? 2015 satisfaction survey. Survey conducted in October 2015. Awarded in January 2016.