Garden ponds make an attractive addition to any garden and, for the most part, providing the pond has been designed and situated correctly and you keep on top of the maintenance of your pond in terms of cleaning it out, skimming the surface for rotting leaves and vegetation, for example, the natural ecosystem which develops as the result of the presence of ponds should take care of the rest.
Algae can also cause problems in ponds and there is a separate article on this website which tells you how to control pond algae. Some people just have a pond as an additional garden feature whilst others will keep fish in their pond and whilst fish are an ideal natural controller of controlling pests and bugs, they can also attract other predators and pests.
Likewise, designing a pond so that it is an attractive place for frogs and toads to visit will also help in keeping the likes of mosquitoes and other insects at bay. Here are some other useful tips which will help you to deal with common pond pests and things to look out for.
Mosquitoes & Aphids
We all know that mosquitoes are often found in great swarms in the summertime around lakes and other areas of still, stagnant water. However, did you know that they hate moving water? They do and so if you have a fountain, waterfall or some other kind of pond feature which causes the water to move, that will help to deter mosquitoes.
Aphids are tiny plant-sucking insects that can ruin the ecology of a pond environment by attacking the likes of water lilies and other aquatic plants. Therefore, it helps if you give your aquatic plants a regular soaking with the hosepipe before these critters cause your pond plants to decay. As they are sprayed off into the pond, the fish will take care of the rest, including eating any insect larvae.
Birds as Pond Pests
The vast majority of birds will leave your pond alone unless your garden is in an area which is also resident to the likes of herons and kingfishers. Some people will situate a decoy ornamental replica of a heron right by the pond which often acts as a deterrent or you might need to thing about putting netting or a mesh grille over your pond.
Mammals as Pond Pests
It’s pretty unlikely that any small mammals would take any interest in the fish in your pond unless you live in an area which is popular with the likes of foxes, otters or beavers. Putting netting or a mesh grille over ponds can be an option and although you may find it a bit of a burden to keep covering it up and removing it for maintenance, you might find that’s it’s very useful over the summer months if you’re in an area which attracts a lot of pond predators which is when pond pests and predators are at their most active.
Other Useful Tips
When designing your pond for your fish, the deeper it is and the more vegetation the fish can take cover under, the less likely that predators will venture there. It’s also a good idea to situate feeders and waterers as far away from the pond as possible as wildlife will always take the easiest option when looking for something to eat and drink.
In essence, attracting the right type of creatures such as frogs and toads to your pond as well as making the environment appealing for the likes of hedgehogs is likely to take care of any major pest problem as all of these creatures feast on insects which are likely to be your main cause of concern although if your garden attracts hedgehogs, keep an eye out for them as they seem to have little fear of falling into a garden pond.
Keep an eye on your aquatic plants and if you do find that larger predators are threatening to become a nuisance around your pond, seek advice from your garden centre as more drastic measures can be adopted such as installing water spray repellents around ponds which automatically triggers a jet of water to be fired if a sensor is activated by the movement of an animal. Spray repellents are also available.
One thing you shouldn’t do, however, is to use insecticides in or around your pond if you are keeping fish as they could kill the fish as well as the pests you are trying to protect them from.