Maine Lawn & Yard Pest Control Update: JuneJune 21, 2017
As the temperatures rise, the pests in your yard evolve. June fades into July and suddenly dead spots appear in our lawns, winter moths begin to fall from our trees, and other pests damage our trees and shrubs. While some pests are more serious than others, if left untreated, many of these can damage or even kill your trees and shrubs. Some pests to be on the lookout for right now include aphids, grubs, lace bug, magnolia scale and, yes, ticks. The lawn, shrub and tree care professionals at Lucas Tree Experts are ready to help you identify and set up treatment plans for the pests that are wreaking havoc on your property.
These insects are a common pest that thrive in warmer weather and love the foliage on your trees. Aphids are a common summer pest that wreak havoc on our vegetable gardens and our outdoor plants, but they also feed on the foliage of trees. These small, soft-bodied insects can reproduce quickly, so infestation can happen in a flash. Signs that you have an aphid infestation on your plants, trees or shrubs are an obvious yellowing and curling of foliage. The good news is that by working with your pest control professionals, like those at Lucas Tree Experts, aphids can be easily controlled, allowing your trees, shrubs and plants to rebound.
In the next few weeks, if you notice a speckled look to your shrubs, especially to your rhododendrons and laurels, chances are you are dealing with a lace bug infestation. These teeny, tiny bugs pierce and suck the sap from the leaves that results in the speckled look on leaves. While there are many species of lace bugs, the most prevalent lace bugs in Maine prefer the foliage of rhododendrons and laurels. While dealing with these little pests can be frustrating, with an effective pest control treatment plan set up with a lawn, tree, shrub care professional, these buggers can be eradicated from your plants.
Most of the aforementioned pests are interested in the foliage of your trees, shrubs and plants. Magnolia scale is different in that this pest latches onto the bark of the magnolia tree, not the leaves. This type of infestation can be hard to notice at first because the pests look like bumps and don’t move. These pests are sap feeders that excrete large volumes of a sugar-rich liquid waste called “honeydew”; and the tell-tale sign that you are dealing with magnolia scale is a resulting sooty mold fungus. Magnolia scales can also attract bees, wasps and hornets as they are drawn to the sticky waste. Left untreated, magnolia scale can kill off branches and entire trees. Even with the best pest control professionals, treatment can cycle through more than one season to ensure that the magnolia scale is under control.
The spread of ticks throughout New England has become an unrelenting concern, and experts agree that 2017 has already been an especially terrible year for ticks. What makes matters worse is arrival of the Powassan virus, which makes Lyme disease look like the common cold. Checking for ticks after a day outside is no longer enough because ticks infected with Powassan can transmit their disease within an hour. As a result the once-a-day tick checks for you, your kids, and your pets has now been upgraded to hourly tick checks. Within the past month, there have been two reported cases of Powassan in the Mid Coast region of Maine. Learn more about ticks in our Pest Control Update for May.
This summer, keep a watchful eye on your lawn, trees and shrubs. It doesn’t hurt to know what pests your neighbors might be dealing with too. Many signs and symptoms of pests can be noticed from the road and it doesn’t hurt to take a community approach to prevention and treatment. Even if you aren’t fighting off pests this summer, a preventative program can keep your landscape healthy and strong long into the future.