Professional Pest Control: Mosquitoes, Ticks, Grubs, Winter Moths – Oh My!June 29, 2013
Insects are capable of ruining your lawn, trees and gardens. That’s why many homeowners’ first instinct is to eradicate them with pesticides. However, jumping the gun when it comes to pest control is never a good idea, because the underlying cause of your deteriorating lawn might be something else entirely. It’s critical to the health of your yard to know exactly what you’re dealing with before any actions are taken. While mosquito problems and tick problems are easy to identify, winter moth and grub problems are much trickier. For this reason, professional pest control services are well worth the cost. Lawn and tree professionals have the knowledge and experience to diagnose the problem, and the tools to bring your lawn back to optimal health.
Preemptive pest management begins with proper lawn care
The primary goal for homeowners should be to prevent a pest problem from occurring in the first place, and that is best achieved through preventative lawn care. Unhealthy landscapes are far more susceptible to being infested by destructive bugs, so a strong foundation is essential to prevent future catastrophes. Factors that determine a healthy lawn include: proper soil pH, adequate nutrients, adequate water with good drainage, sunlight and the right grass species selection.
If you’re building a home on a plot that does not have an established lawn, you’re at an advantage when it comes to building a solid foundation. Lawn and tree care service companies can help you choose the species of grass and trees that will thrive on your new property and lower the risk of pest problems.
For those with established lawns, repairing damage and avoiding pests is possible with regular seasonal maintenance. Fertilizing, reseeding, removing thatch, aerating and weeding are key aspects of spring and fall lawn care—and they should never be neglected.
Identifying and controlling pests
A weekly examination of your yard is the smartest way to be able to identify emerging problems before they become unmanageable. An overgrowth of weeds is a tell-tale sign that the lawn is unhealthy and at risk for pest and/or insect issues. Two of the most common pest complaints in Maine are grub and winter moth problems.
Winter moths – These pests emerge between late November and December. Both females and males are attracted to light and females are attracted to trees illuminated by the glow of outdoor lighting. As the females make their way up the trunk, they leave a trail of mate-attracting pheromones behind. The males are often easily seen swarming the trees before resting and mating. After mating, females continue to move further up the tree before laying up to 150 eggs on the tree trunk itself or on branches. Once the eggs hatch the following spring, they feed on the buds and leaves of the host trees. Tree species at risk include: oaks, maples, elms, ash, birch, crab apple, blueberry and cherry—and the damage caused can kill the trees within a relatively short span of time. Trees that are already diseased or weak are especially susceptible to succumbing to early mortality. To avoid the destruction caused by winter moths, sprays can be applied to the eggs in late fall or winter, or to recently hatched caterpillars between late March and early April. Sprays can also be used as late as early June, but the earlier the treatment, the better the results.
Grubs – These beetle larvae are highly destructive to landscapes, and an infestation results in rapid deterioration of your lawn’s health. After hatching, they tunnel underground and start feeding on plant roots. When roots are damaged, their ability to absorb nutrients and water is compromised and they can easily die. Signs of a grub problem include: brown patches on your lawn, droopy leaves, sudden and unexplained deaths of lawn/garden plants, grass that easily rolls away from the soil and the presence of moles, gophers or raccoons that dig into lawns in search of grubs. If you notice a growing patch that is brown or wilting, pull back the sod (paying most attention to where the brown grass meets the green grass) and look for these white pests. If there are more than 10 per square foot, you have a problem—and timely grub control is imperative.
Say goodbye to your pest problems with the help of Lucas Tree
At Lucas Tree Experts, we know how frustrating it is to have a pest infestation destroy the integrity of the yard you’ve worked so hard to grow and maintain. Nobody likes to watch years of hard work go down the drain right before their eyes, and we have the expertise and equipment to end the damage and return your lawn and trees back to health. The solution to your problems is just a phone call away. Our professional pest control services include: grub control, winter moth control programs, as well as mosquito control and tick control programs —all tailored to your specific needs. Your yard should be a safe haven and a source of pride, and Lucas Tree will make sure that no pest takes that away. Call Lucas Tree Experts today!
See Are Mosquitoes Infected with Zika in Maine? Lucas Tree Experts, May 24, 2016