How to attract natural pest predators to your garden

There's hardly anything more frustrating than spending hours getting your garden ready for the spring and summer, only to come out and have your garden noshed to pieces by bugs, rabbits or other garden-destroyers. You can help keep your garden safe by attracting animals that will deter pests. 
Take a look at a few of these tips to help keep your garden safe this year: 
Frogs and Toads
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Not surprisingly, frogs and toads are a great way to deter bugs from noshing on your veggies (most bugs aren't too keen on getting snatched from mid-air by a sticky tongue). The bugs that do wander into your garden will be limited because your new frog friend will have his pick for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 
To attract frogs and toads to your garden, you need to ditch the chemicals. Because frogs and toads drink and breathe through their skin, they tend to stay away if you use fertilizer. Create shelter for the frogs by turning a pot upside down over two rocks to create a dark, damp area for the frogs to nest, according to Grow a Good Life.  (Note: Keep dogs at bay, frogs can emit toxins through their skin if they feel threatened.)
Ladybugs (and other insects)
 
Surprisingly, some bugs and insects are actually good for your garden. Ladybugs, as cute and charming as they seem, actually help keep your garden free from pests like mites, scale and aphids, according to Gardening Know How.
You can attract these little beauties by planting flowers in your garden. Choose flowers and plants that have flat flowers. Ladybugs also like yellow and white white flowers. Try planting chives, cilantro, fennel, dill, marigold and yarrow. 
If you don't want to wait for the ladies to arrive,  you can also purchase ladybugs. If you do buy ladybugs, make sure there are plenty of bugs for them to eat. While it seems counter-intuitive, leave the bugs alone. Ladybugs will get rid of them for you and they'll hang around if there's plenty to eat so you don't have to worry about pesticides. 
Other bugs you want to say include lacewings, hover-flies, and the praying mantis. 
Birds
Birds are a great addition to any garden. Aside from providing natural music and entertainment for little ones, birds are a great way to keep pesky bugs at bay. If you want to attract birds to your oasis, keep a few things in mind when you are planning your garden this year, according to Gardener.
-Plan out spaces for your birds to hide (add twiggy shrubs and small trees to provide nesting locations). 
-Allow one area of your garden to grow naturally (instead of making sure it's perfectly plucked and trimmed) to encourage birds to stop by.
-Add a bird bath. Birds love water. Create an easy place for them to snag a drink and they'll be more likely to stay.
-Keep the feeder full. While birds will nosh on bugs, having a feeder nearby for a quick snack also encourages the birds to drop in and stay awhile. 
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What are some ways you keep garden pests away? Share your tips in the comments below. 
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