Pesky Pests - Weeds

Controlling Weeds in the Home Garden

Weeds can be considered pests in the lawn and garden because they compete with desirable plants for nutrients and water.

Lawn Weeds

1. The First Defense is Prevention

Keep the Lawn Healthy

  • Mow often keeping grass blades relatively high (5-7cm [2-3″]) This strengthens roots and shades out weeds.
  • Water deeply but infrequently to encourage deep root growth.
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn to provide nutrients as they break down.  Supplement with slow-release turf fertilizers;  apply Dolopril lime in spring and fall.
  • Overseed sparse or patchy lawns:  Thick turf will not allow weeds to grow.
  • Remove by hand dandelions and other lawn weeds as soon as they are detected.

2. The Last Resort – Herbicides

  • Spray a product containing Iron (present as FeHEDTA) 0.25% to control or suppress broadleaf weeds in the lawn without killing the grass.

Weeds in the Garden

Prevent the spread of weeds by making weed removal part of your garden routine.  The best time to weed is in the fall and again in the spring.  Supplementary weeding can take place through summer but if you have done a thorough job earlier in the year your weed population will be small.

* Annual weeds like Bittercress and Chickweed should be removed before they set seeds so get them out before they flower.

Weeds Between Pavers

  • Purchase tools that are designed for the removal of weeds between pavers.
  • Pour a thin stream of boiling water between pavers and along cracks and crevices in other hard surfaces to kill weed seedlings.
  • Apply ready-to-use vinegar solutions or soap solutions to burn out weeds.

Insects & Diseases

For the purposes of this article the word ‘pest’ refers to insects, slugs, snails and fungal diseases.

1. The First Defense is Prevention

  • Choose plants that are disease resistant and do not attract insect pests.
  • Keep plants healthy so that they are able to defend themselves from attack.
  • Monitor plants on a regular basis so that potential problems can be nipped in the bud.

2. The Second Defense is Physical Control
– hand picking, sticky traps, floating row covers, etc.

  • Control aphids by squashing them with your fingers or washing them off with a strong stream of water.
  • Caterpillars and cut worms can be removed by hand.
  • Sticky traps can capture large numbers of adult aphids, whiteflies and other insect pests.
  • Floating row covers (Remay Cloth) on vegetable crops such as carrots, onions or turnips help to prevent insect infestations.
  • Hand pick slugs and snails and dispose of them or capture them in traps baited with beer.

Fungal Diseases

  • Remove and destroy infected leaves by hand as soon as signs of disease are noticed.
  • Rake up any fallen infected leaves under plants and dispose of them in the garbage.
  • Use mulches around plants to prevent fungal spores from splashing up from the soil into vulnerable foliage.
  • Prune plants to open them up and improve air circulation.

The Last Resort:  Pesticides

  • If all else fails pesticides can be used to alleviate the pest problem.
  • e.g. Aphids – spray with Insecticidal soap, pyrethrins or products that are a mixture of both.
  • e.g Black Spots on Roses – Spray with a fungicide registered for black spot such as Defender.


West Van Location

2558 Haywood Avenue
Telephone: 604-922-2613

North Van Location

1343 Lynn Valley Road
Telephone: 604-985-1784