Flower Flies

Are you the type of person who freaks out the instant that they spot a yellow and black winged creature nearby? If so, maybe you should take a second glance before you run screaming back into the house. That yellow and black creature flying amongst your freshly planted to roses may very well be a flower fly! However, they want you and other predators to think that they are wasps or bees so that they can feast in peace.

Syrphidae

Members of the Insect Family Syrphidae

 

Flower flies, also known as hoverflies or syrphid flies, make up the insect family Syrphidae. They get their name from their main source of nutrients – flowers! They, much like bees, feed mainly on nectar and pollen. Their larvae, however, feed of a wide range of foods including other pests. This may seem like it will cause potential pest problems, but in actuality, they are considered natural pest control (much the green products of Northwest Exterminating), in that they prey on insects such as aphids, which cause tens of millions of dollars of damage to crops globally. Additionally, adult aphids are important to the plant pollinating process.

 

Petroselinum_crispum_003

Parsley

If you would like to the help of flower flies to aid you in pest control, then you should look to companion plants such as buckwheat, chamomile or parsley to attract them. If, however, you’d like a stronger pest control force to protect your home and lawn, then Northwest Exterminating offers all the resources you need.

Chamomile

Chamomile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/Syrphidae/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoverfly

Northwest Exterminating
830 Kennesaw Ave MariettaGA30060 USA 
 • 888-466-7849
 

Aphids

Aphids are interesting insects in that almost every plant serves as a potential meal for one or more species of these tiny pests. They have long, slender mouths used to pierce stems, leaves and other tender plant parts to draw out the fluids from the plant. They also all are pear-shaped with long legs and antennae, but they come in many shades of colors including green, yellow, brown, red or black. This varies with the species as well as the type of plant they choose to feed on.

Aphids

Aphids reproduce at a very rapid pace as each adult aphid is capable of producing up to 80 aphids a year. Most adult aphids are wingless, but some come in winged forms, especially during the spring and fall. This allows them to move onto another food source when one becomes no longer available. Most often, these insects travel in dense populations along the leaves or stems of a plant.

That said, the amount of leef-feeding aphids determines their potential damage. Low to moderate numbers are usually not damaging, but much larger populations they have the effect of curling, yellowing, distorting leaves and also stunting plant growth. They may also transmit viruses from plant to plant. If you feel that your garden is being taken over by an aphid population, let Northwest Lawn Care services take care of your outdoor pest control needs.

Curling of leaves due to aphids.

 

Pests That Affect Your Lawn

It’s summer time, so you and your family will likely spend a great deal more time outside enjoying the weather. However, your household won’t be the only ones wanting to take advantage of your lawn. Especially during the summertime, certain insects can cause damage or even kill your turfgrass. Signs of insect feeding include grass turning yellow or brown and eventually dying. This begins as small patches of grass but can eventually lead to widespread damage. It’s important to eliminate lawn damage using preventive measures and Northwest Lawn Care offers just that!

 

 

One pest in particular that you may be used to seeing is a white grub. These insects are the larvae stage of several species of masked chafer beetles. This said, if you spot beetles in your yard, you’re likely to have white grubs. They are small, white “C” shaped bugs with six legs. When these insects infest, they can destroy grass roots, which weakens the affected area. If ever you’ve been able to lift your grass easily from the ground, it’s likely to be due to these insects.

White GrubMasked chafer

Another common insect pest is the armyworm, which is actually the larva stage of a moth and is therefore, a caterpillar. Like all caterpillars, army worms like feed of plants, including all types of grass. They like to chew on leaves as well as the base of leaves, leaving irregular patches of grass. Once again, if you notice a fair amount of brown or gray moths in your yard, you’re likely to already have an armyworm problem.

Armyworm

Armyworm

Other common insect pests include billbugs, black turfgrass ataenius, fiery skipper, lawn moths, sod webworms and the southern chinch bug. Keep in mind that these pests are perfect treat for larger pests such moles, skunks and raccoons. If you feel like your lawn may be at risk, call the Northwest Lawn Care Team and they will meet your needs.

Sources:

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7476.html

http://www.diynetwork.com/outdoors/how-to-identify-common-lawn-pests/index.html

http://www.hort.uconn.edu/ipm/homegrnd/htms/13inslwn.htm

http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/white-grubs-lawns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Get Rid of Yellow Spots in Your Lawn

We all want a blemish free lawn.  One of the biggest complaints that we often hear from potential lawn care customers is that they have yellow spots in their grass.  These spots can be little patches here and there or large areas of grass.  There can be a few different reasons why your green grass is spotted with yellow patches.

Yellow Spots in Grass

  • Drought – If your grass isn’t getting enough water due to drought or under watering, this can cause grass to turn from a healthy green to a dull yellow.  If this is the case, water your grass in the early morning one to two times a week.
  • Nutrient Deficiency – Lawns are living organisms just like humans and animals.  Humans, animals, and lawns need their nutrients to be healthy.  If you haven’t fertilized your lawn in a while, this could be the reason for the yellow, dead spots.
  • Chemical Burn – Fertilizer, pesticide, or other chemicals applied incorrectly can burn your lawn.  Be sure to fully read and follow directions when applying chemicals to your lawn.  Water and patience is the best remedy for a chemically burnt lawn.
  • Animal Damage – Urine damage can be from family pets, rabbits, or other animals that may make their way into your lawn.  Again, the best solution for urine damage by animals is to water in the urine before it can set in.
  • Lawn Disease – If none of the above seem likely reasons for why your lawn has yellow spots, lawn disease, or fungus, may be the cause.  The best way to know for sure is to call your professional lawn care company.

If yellow spots have gotten the best of your lawn, call Northwest Lawn Care.  Our representatives will do a FREE lawn analysis to determine the cause of your issues.  They will then create a customized plan for your lawn to return it to its green, healthy state.

 

Round 7 of Lawn Care

We are currently on Round 7 of our Lawn Care treatments.  During this round, we are focusing on root growth and controlling weeds by applying a combination of fertilizers.  Round 7 is vital to your lawn care program and is especially important in the prevention of poa annua.  Poa annua is common in the South and begins to emerge during the early spring months.

For the best results:

  • The treatment should be watered in within 48 hours.
  • The lawn should not be mowed 2 days before or after the treatment.

Fall is the most important time of year to get your lawn healthy and green!

What’s the key to a healthy lawn?

Watering is essential for a healthy lawn.  We can not stress the importance of watering to improve the color and condition of your lawn.  We suggest watering at least 45 minutes in each zone once a week.

For more information on improving the healthy and look of your lawn visit Northwest.

 

Lawn Care Tips for Fall

The next few weeks should be spent fertilizing, controlling weeds, preparing new lawn, and repairing poor quality lawn.  Here a few simple things to do for your lawn in the fall months:

Give Soil TLC. One of the most important things you can do for your lawn is to properly prepare the soil.  Test the pH levels in your soil.  If results indicate a problem, apply sulfur or lime.  Till the soil then apply your fertilizer.

Fertilize. Depending on the type of grass you have will determine how often and what type of fertilizer you should use.  Regardless of the type of grass, fall is the best time to fertilize.

Control Weeds.  September and October are the best months to control weeds like dandelions and clovers.

Remove Thatch.  Use this time to dig up any pieces of thatch (dead grass roots and stems that grow between soil and green grass).

Seed.  New seed should be planted now to replace poor quality lawn or to grow new lawn.  The grass will grow better in the cool temperatures of the fall.

For some, lawn care may not be something that you feel comfortable doing yourself.  If you need assistance, call a professional lawn care companyNorthwest Lawn Care can help you diagnose your lawn issues and create a customized plan of action to get your lawn green and healthy for spring time.

 

The History of Pest Control

Since the advent of agriculture, humans have needed a means to prevent pests from destroying their crops. Techniques such as crop rotation, intercropping and selective breeding of pest-resistant plants sought to make plants less desirable to weeds as well as herbivores. Nowadays, if your garden seems a delectable treat, Northwest offers modern methods through Lawn Care and Wildlife services to tackle these problems.

The traditional idea most people have of pest control involves the use of pesticides. Chemical pesticides, substances intended for the prevention of pests, aim to protect plants by producing an effect that deters, incapacitates, or kills pests. Historians credit Sumerians as the first known civilization to employ pesticides by using sulfur compounds to rid their crops in 2500 B.C. The Egyptians, as well as Chinese, used natural products such as herbs and oils to prevent infestation.  With NorPest Green and other Green services, Northwest takes after these ancient societies by using natural methods that eliminate pests with minimal harm to the ecological balance of the environment. We don’t just do pest management – we create healthier living and working environments.

The modern history of pest control began in the 18th and 19th century with the advent of widespread industrialization and mechanization. With the introduction of chemical compounds pyrethrum and derris, pest control became more widespread. The early 20th century saw another change in the pest control industry, with the use of DDT and herbicides. After the 1962 publishing of Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring,” the use of known harmful chemicals such as DDT came to a halt. Since then, the shift in pest management has been towards more traditional and natural pest management.

As stated earlier, Northwest maintains a commitment to creating healthier living and work environments by providing green pest control. We know the importance of protecting the health of our clients, their residences and workplaces by offering products that prevent pests without incurring ecological damage. As the Southeast’s leader in Green pest control, Northwest has proven that our products can control pests the way nature intended. We know that this is the future in pest management and hope you become a part of it too by joining the Northwest family.

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pest_control

http://extension.psu.edu/ipm/schools/educators/curriculum/contents/shorthistory

 

Work in the Fall Brings a Healthy Lawn in the Spring

We’re getting our first taste of fall! Cooler temperatures, football, and the changing of the leaves are all things that we have to look forward to in the coming months. Without the scorching heat it is a great time of year to get out in your yard and prepare your lawn for the cold months ahead. Cooler weather allows your grass to focus on root growth and build up density. The more preparation you do in the fall, the healthier and greener your lawn will be in the spring.

Things to do in the fall for a healthy lawn in the spring:

  • Fall is the best time to target weeds. This is the time to apply herbicides to broadleaf weeds.
  • If your soil is in need of a reduction in acidity, apply lime. If you’re not sure, have a lawn care company perform a soil test.
  • Make sure to rake up any leaves that have fallen onto your lawn.
  • Water during warm spells only. Watering isn’t as necessary in the cooler months as it is in warmer months. Be sure to water when temperatures are unusually high.
  • Fertilize your lawn if you have cool season grass such as fescue.
  • Raise the height on your lawn mower. Do not over cut the lawn.
  • Grass clippings can be beneficial this time of year. Leave clippings where they fall unless a large amount has been cut.
  • Overseeding should be done to fix bare patches in lawn or to keep lawn looking green throughout the winter.
  • Call a lawn care company such as Northwest that can come assess your lawn and let you know what steps should be made in the fall to be sure that you have a healthy, green lawn in the spring and summer.

Visit us at www.callnorthwest.com/lawn-care/ for more information on our Northwest Lawn Care services.

 

Armyworms

We have seen a severe armyworm infestation this summer. The extremely dry, hot weather is a welcome mat for armyworms to our region. Armyworms are a type of larval worm that feed on grass blades, but rarely kills the turf, even if left untreated. However, their damage can make lawns look unsightly, like they are dying.  The damage they cause will make your yard look like it has been scalped or damaged in large areas.  It is usually fairly easy to tell if you have armyworms.  The turf can be pulled back easily and you can see them in the soil…they look like little caterpillars.

If you find that you have been infested with armyworms, call a professional lawn care service such as Northwest.

With any lawn care treatment, watering is also an important factor. Watering in each zone for about 25-30 minutes a day, until the lawn recovers, helps the products reach the root system.  Avoid watering on days that we have a sufficient amount of rain.

Every lawn is different, so we will continue to monitor your lawn’s progress to determine the course of
action that is right for your lawn. For more information on Northwest Lawn Care visit us at www.callnorthwest.com

 

Round 6 of Lawn Care

We are currently on Round 6 of our Lawn Care treatments.  During this round, we are focusing heavily on controlling weeds.

For the best results:

  • The treatment should be watered in within 48 hours.
  • Turf should receive at least 2 inches of water per week.
  • The lawn should not be mowed 2 days before or after the treatment.

What’s coming up?

It’s almost time for aerating and overseeding for fescue lawns.  Fescue lawns thrive in the cooler months and should be aerated and overseeding each year.

What’s the key to a healthy lawn?

Watering is essential for a healthy lawn.  We can not stress the importance of watering to improve the color and condition of your lawn.  We suggest watering at least 45 minutes in each zone once a week.

For more information on improving the healthy and look of your lawn visit Northwest.