South African pest control 101: how to navigate spring pest control - Efekto

It’s that time of year when things start warming up and getting active again. Along with the signs of having life return to the garden and home, comes the regular seasonal pests. South African pest control is quite a unique undertaking as each experience is determined by the area your home is in. Combat the suspects of spring with this guide, breaking down pests by province and climate, as well as which solutions to apply.

Shift between seasons successfully

With a rich and diverse space like our nation, the approach to each spring pest requires a bit of understanding. South African pest control in the home and garden will vary for each individual based on their region’s temperatures, rainfall and environmental factors. Start your spring routine by understanding the transition from winter to spring for a pest-free garden. This guide helps you adapt your garden routine for preventative pest care. Additionally, it is important to be vigilant and complete thorough pest checks to maintain your defences against invasive insects, rodents and more.

South African pest control by province

The nine provinces of South Africa fall under five main climate zones. These regions are affected by their conditions and therefore the types of pests likely to inhabit the area.

Climate Zone 1: Coastal summer rainfall

Coastal towns of KwaZulu-Natal 

Eastern Cape

Characterised by dry, frost-free winters, this region gets influenced by the warm Indian Ocean. As a happily frost-free zone, this area does not require much transitioning to spring. 

Along the southern regions, they experience winter rainfall and cooler conditions. As the coastal city of Port Elizabeth (known as the Windy City) is prone to harsh gusts, inhabitants here will need to invest in well-rooted plants and install or grow natural windbreaks. Warmer, moist weather starts to set in before the harsh heat of summer.

Moist conditions will lead to ideal soils for slugs and snails, as well as moles, to make their way through to your gardens. Be sure to watch out for collected puddles of water around the home to avoid breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Pests: Flies and mosquitoes, moles, cockroaches, slugs and snails

Solutions: 

 

Climate Zone 2: Coastal winter rainfall

Coastal Southern Cape

Table Mountain 

This zone along the Western Cape contains subtropical plants and experiences a nearly frost-free winter (if not a very light short duration of frost). As the soils are derived from Table Mountain, they are generally poor in this area and will therefore limit the choice of garden plants in this zone. 

Though a fresh, crisp breeze still blows during spring months, some warmer weather will start to creep in, inviting new pests to make their way steadily into homes and gardens. Inhabitants of this area will also need to monitor the moisture content of soils for ground-dwelling pests like slugs, snails and moles. Home dwellers here will also need to be vigilant looking out for pooled water that will provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Pests: Flies and mosquitoes, moles, slugs and snails, aphids

Solutions: 

 

Pro tip: Browse Wonder’s range of fertilisers to enhance your soil’s nutrition on and around Table Mountain. Here, you will find solutions designed to assist with planting and soil prep, fruits and vegetables, all purpose needs, lawn and leaf, and rose and flowers.

Climate Zone 3: Winter rainfall Karoo

Northern coastal regions of Namaqualand

This region includes part of Northern Cape Province and is subject to either no frost or light frost. Here, the area experiences winter rainfall, yet also summer rainfall in the eastern parts. The soil is quite rich in minerals and many subtropical plants grow well — when watered sufficiently and planted in areas where frost is light.

This area will need to keep an eye for rodent activity as mice and rats will still be looking to nest in shelters from late frost or rainfall. Be sure to monitor for signs of damage amongst trees and plants, created by harvester termites.

Pests: Mice and rats, Harvester termites 

Solutions: 

 

Climate Zone 4: Summer rainfall Karoo / Highveld

The Great Escarpment

This region includes the Free State and Gauteng, with some of Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, the North West province, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. In this zone, winter frost limits outdoor plant choice. With this in mind, there are still wide choices of frost-resistant plants that work well here. 

Summers experience rainfall and then have dry winters. In the north-western areas, however, the rainfall is very low. When you select your plants for this area, make sure to align your choices according to these factors. This area will also need to be vigilant against rodents and harvester termite activity.

Pests: Mice and rats, Harvester termites

Solutions: 

 

Climate Zone 5: Bushveld Summer rainfall

Bushveld region

This area includes most of Limpopo and a small part of the North West Province. Think dry, mild winters, with the possibility of frost being a problem in higher-lying regions. While the eastern part receives a fair amount of rainfall, the northern and western areas are drier. 

Although the soils vary, they are generally quite rich and residents here have a vast choice of plants for this region. With rich soils, however, this means lush plants and all sorts of hungry pests to anticipate feasting on your gardens. This area will also need to be vigilant about harvester termite activity on both living and dead garden matter, as well as maintain their defences against rodents.

Pests: Mice and rats, Harvester termites

Solutions: 

 

Protecting each province, one pest at a time 

With provincial spring pest knowledge now tucked under your belt, you can prepare, take action and defend your home and garden. For more South African pest control advice and solutions, be sure to subscribe to Efekto’s newsletter to receive our comprehensive Spring Pest Control Handbook.