I'd like to draw butterflies, birds, etc to my yard, while keeping PESTS away.
Is there a way???
Bird feeders will bring the birds. Look online to find the types of plants that butterflies are attracted to. Plant lavender or use citronela candles for mosquitoes. The rest of the "pests" might fall into the outdoor category of insects, and I can't help you there except to keep a tidy yard. Gecko lizards are good for eating those insects. Process of elimanation. Good luck.
If by "pests" you mean things like ticks and such, you can use a lawn spreader and put down a chemical you can find at your local retailer called diazinon. It works. It needs to be "rained in" to activate and if you have any pets (dog or cat), they need to be kept off of it until it has dried. Honeysuckle and trumpet vines come to mind for attracting the nicer, prettier critters. There is also a shrub called a butterfly bush...for obvious reasons. You can also put out a hummingbird feeder. I make my own feed for them...1 part sugar to 4 parts water. They love it and show up in droves. Of course, ALL of this depends on where you live. Thistle seed will attract wrens and such. Plain wild bird seed will attract everything, so if you want to "weed out" the more aggressive birds like blue jays and blackbirds, feed safflower seed. It costs a bit more, but is worth it if you want to be selective in what species you welcome into your space.
Define " pests " .
Yes, please. ONe person's pest might be another's desired critter.. (except of course ticks & fleas, moles and gophers)
I hate squirrels, but know people who actually feed the little furry rats! so my pest is their wanted critter....
Hummingbird feeders will draw the hummingbirds but also the ants and bees and some other stinging things.
A nice flowerbed will also attract snakes and frogs, but plenty of butterflies and birds, as well.
A birdfeeder will draw gobs of birds, but also hawks and the pesky squirrels.
Bird suet or peanut butter cakes will bring plenty of birds, including woodpeckers - who will eventually make sounds like a jackhammer on your siding or will make holes in the wood of your house.
kind of trade-off... but always keep the birdbath washed out and filled with fresh water.