Home and Garden

A Guide to Detecting Lawn Pests and Getting Rid of Them

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A beautiful lawn adds appeal to your property. In order to maintain its pristine condition, however, you’ll have to do the work. Identifying pests and getting rid of them in a timely manner is one of the biggest essentials when it comes to protecting plants and enhancing landscaping efforts.

Lawns are “attacked” by various types of pests and the measures you’re going to undertake will be dependent on the species. This is why you’ll have to get used to recognizing different pests and choosing the most effective ways for getting rid of them.

Pests Identification Tips and Ideas

Even if you don’t see the actual bug, taking a closer look at the damage that it causes will give you a good idea about what you’re dealing with.

Bite marks, brown spots on the leaves, wilting, dying grass patches and finding larvae or eggs on the lawn are all indicative of a pest infestation. Let’s take a look at the specific kinds of damage caused by different bugs.

Grubs rank among the most damaging lawn pests. The most devastating species is white grubs or Phyllophaga spp. These are the larvae of the May beetle, as well as a few other related beetle species, and they’re found throughout the US and Canada.

Wilted grass blades are the most common symptom of a grub infestation. Eventually, brown patches will form and the greenery will die. The grass tufts that are damaged by grubs will effortlessly lift off the ground and the larvae will be located underneath.

Leatherjackets are another destructive larva variety. They are the larvae of the crane fly and during this stage, they’re mainly concerned with eating. As a result, your beautiful grass could suffer serious damage. The larvae will attack the roots of the grass and they will cause entire dead areas.

Since leatherjackets are a favorite meal of many birds, an increase in the lawn’s bird population could be indicative of an infestation.

Aphids are seen and experienced by almost anyone who has a lawn. They create clusters on a wide array of plants and they suck the sap out of the stem. As a result, the foliage gets a distorted shape and leaves will eventually begin falling off.

Here are a few other types of common lawn pests and the best ways to identify them:

– The cabbage maggot tunnels into the roots of plants and kills them completely. Not only will the root system be damaged, microorganisms will find an entry point and cause plant disease following the activity of the cabbage maggot.

– Colorado beetles are yellow-orange in color and they will attack tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, certain flowers, eggplants and potatoes. They eat the foliage. If you see a stem with no leaves, chances are that a Colorado beetle is the culprit.

– Sod webworms are incredibly destructive turf damaging larvae. They can eat both blades and grass stems, leaving the well-known brown patches behind.

– Armyworms vary in color from pinkish to yellowish. They are the larvae of brown moths and they can be found on the lawn both in the spring and the summer. Skeletonized leaves are the most common symptom of an armyworm infestation. The warms are most active during the evening and night, which is when they can be spotted on the lawn.

– Moles form the very common volcano-like mounds of earth on the lawn. If you see these, you can rest assured that a mole leaves in the ground. Moles will tunnel through the ground and while they do feed on grubs and other pests, they can cause some damage.

Effective Ways for Getting Rid of Common Lawn Pests

The approach you choose to combat pests will be dependent on the respective species.

To deal with grubs, for example, you may want to rely on granular pest control products and nematodes. Milky spore, a bacterium, is seen as an effective natural way to approach the issue. Other pest control options include effective watering cycles (grubs prefer wet soil) and preventative chemical control that should be applied while grubs are still small.

The treatment for leatherjackets is nematodes. Unfortunately, this is the only home option that could be expected to produce satisfactory results.

Liquid soap solution squirted on plants provides effective protection against the Colorado beetle. Some gardeners swear by hand-picking the beetles and their larvae for the purpose of eradication. Companion plants that can also produce good results include catnip and sage.

Aphid control consists of using a powerful stream of cold water to dislodge the aphids from the plant. Other things you can do include spraying biological aphid control products, applying a soapy solution to leaves and purchasing ladybug, a beneficial insect that feeds on the insects to provide natural control.

Getting rid of moles is a bit trickier. While you may want to try traps, the little animals will quickly get accustomed to their presence and they’ll change the tunnel direction. Poison and fumigants can’t be expected to deliver long-lasting results. Plants like daffodils and fritillaries are a good idea because they can repel moles.

When it comes to worms, there are a few things you can do.

Dealing with cabbage maggots on your own is almost impossible. Calling professionals to get the job done is usually a good idea. Sod webworms can be removed via the use of bacteria like Bacillus thuringiensis. Beneficial nematodes are also a good pick. As far as armyworms are concerned, a soapy solution can lead to good results. You can also rely on irrigation control (armyworms thrive in moisture), nematodes, birds (you can easily encourage them to come to the lawn more frequently) and even pheromone traps.

On occasions, identifying the type of pest will be a challenge. As you can see, the damage will often be similar and a person who doesn’t have the necessary training will be puzzled. In such instances, calling for professional help will be a much better idea. If you rely on an all-encompassing approach to kill pests on your own, you will also get rid of the beneficial insects. Professionals such as, ziehlerlawncare.com  will quickly assess the damage and recommend the approach that will deliver the best results without additional damage.

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