Proactive Pest Management | Exterior Vegetation

Management of Pest Insects

in and Around the Home

Proactive Pest Management | Exterior Vegetation

Figure 7. The area next to foundation walls should be kept free of vegetation.

Exterior vegetation, combined with
elements related to their maintenance
(mulch and irrigation), can provide pests
with harborage and should be kept away
from the foundation and exterior doors. It is
important to maintain an exterior landscape
that has a minimum of potential pest
harborage sites, especially those close to the
structure (Figure 7).
Property owners should limit the use of
groundcovers, shrubs, vines, and deep mulch
beds near the foundation of their home.
These landscape features retain moisture in
the soil, and thereby expand potential pest
harborage areas. Mulch creates conditions that certain pests need to thrive by providing
food, water and shelter. Excessive mulch provides decaying organic matter, fungi, and
molds that are the food source for many small insects which then attract predatory pests
such as ground beetles, spiders, and scorpions. Mulch near the home should be limited to a
depth that maintains soil moisture required by the landscape plants. Groundcovers should
be kept at least 1.5 feet from foundation walls. Abundant vegetation can also allow pests
direct, protected access to a home, making it more likely for them to enter (because there
will be more insects compared to homes without excessive vegetation, thereby increasing
the chance for invasion).

Proactive Pest Management
Man Made Harborages
Exterior Vegetation

Other Practices


Food, Shelter, Man Made Harborages, Exterior Vegetation, Water
Other Proactive Pest Management Practices

Crickets (Order Orthoptera)
Cockroaches (Order Blattaria)
Termites (Order Isoptera)
True Bugs (Order Hemiptera)
Beetles (Order Coleoptera)
Moths (Order Lepidoptera)
Flies (Order Diptera)
Ants, Bees, and Wasps (Order Hymenoptera)
Minor Orders of Insects – Occasional Pests
Non-Insectan Arthropods


University of Georgia publication Management of Pest Insects in and Around the Home

About this Publication

This article is part of the publication, “Management of
Pest Insects in and Around the Home” is a guide to
quick identification of 75 pests, including more than
120 color photos.



Daniel R. Suiter
Brian T. Forschler
Lisa M. Ames
E. Richard Hoebeke