Ft. Lauderdale Pest Control: Preventing Common Lawn Pests
Your lawn should look lush and green year-round! Unfortunately, there are a few lawn pests that like to take the green out and replace it with brown. Check out our top three lawn pests to look out for in your Ft. Lauderdale lawn.
Armyworms have green, brown, and yellow stripes running the length of their body. These insects can range from 1/16 inches as an instar larva to 1-1/3 inches as mature larvae. Armyworms feed on grass, plants, vegetables, and even grains. In the southern states, they cause significant damage to lawns, occasionally feeding on our turfgrass. If these pests infest your lawn, they can quickly multiply, causing more damage and making them difficult to eliminate.
Chinch bugs have black bodies with white triangle patterns on their wings. These creatures will often progress in color from red to brown before becoming winged adults. They range from 1/8 to 1/6 of an inch in length. Chinch bugs prefer hot, dry, and sunny areas on lawns. If they’ve infested, they create large, irregular, yellowish, and wilted grass throughout. They do this by eating the sap from grass blades which, in return, injures the grass and causes it to die.
Grub worms range from ¾ inch to almost 2 inches in length and have brown heads and cream bodies. These insects are voracious feeders, feeding on organic matter, including the roots of plants. If they’ve infested, their damage appears as drought stress which can turn your lawn a gray-green color. If they continue to feed, they can cause the turf to die in large irregular patches.
To prevent lawn pests from invading, consider these lawn care tips:
- Apply insecticide to your lawn
- Mow and rake out excess thatch regularly
- Frequently water your lawn and plants around your property
- Consider reaching out to your local Ft. Lauderdale lawn care company to identify the lawn pest and provide a proper treatment and prevention plan.
With warmer weather around the corner, many homeowners are preparing their lawns for spring. While the ultimate goal is lush, green grass, the last thing any homeowner wants is a yellow lawn. So what is causing those offensive spots and how can you fix them? Here we take a look at the 4 top reasons for a yellow lawn and how to fix it.
Physical damage to your grass can come in many forms. Cutting your grass unevenly, too short, or with dull blades on your mower can result in it turning yellow as the grass is weakened and destroyed. If you have items sitting on your lawn (such as children’s play equipment or lawn furniture), you will often see yellow spots pop up around them as a result of soil compaction. In this case, oxygen and water are unable to reach the roots of the blades in order to circulate.
When mowing your grass, make sure the mower is working properly and the blades are sharpened. Set the blades at the proper height for the type of grass you have. Aeration can help resolve the issue of soil compaction and allows your grass to get the oxygen, water and other nutrients it needs to thrive.
Amount of Water
Too much or too little water can wreak havoc on your lawn, resulting in those unsightly yellow patches you’re trying to avoid. Overwatering leads to poor root development and a limited supply of oxygen. It can also lead to fungus and pest infestations. Underwatering can dry out the blades, making them brittle and undernourished, which can also cause them to turn yellow.
Double check your sprinkler system to make sure they aren’t overwatering certain areas of your lawn and that they are reaching all of the areas of your lawn. Keep an eye on the weather to make sure your lawn is getting just the right amount of water (e.g. turning off sprinklers during rainstorms). Identify what type of grass you have and make sure your watering schedule is appropriate.
Lack of Nutrients
Fertilization provides the nutrients your lawn needs to grow and thrive. Yellow patches can appear when your lawn lacks the proper amounts of these nutrients. On the other hand, overfertilizing can burn the turf, also causing the grass to turn yellow. It is important to find the proper balance of nutrients necessary for the type of grass you have.
Choose a fertilizer that is appropriate for your turf type. Make sure to read the directions carefully and apply evenly across your yard. A nutritional supplement may also need to be added in addition to the fertilizer to help replenish your lawn.
Diseases and Pests
Many lawn diseases manifest as yellow or even brown patches. Some of the most common diseases include lawn fungus and dollar spot. Most lawn diseases are fungal and are caused by excessive moisture. These diseases slow the growth of your lawn and can cause the blades to spot and wilt. This excessive moisture is also a major attractant for pests which can also damage your grass and cause it to turn colors.
The first step is to get rid of the excess moisture in your yard. A fungicide may need to be applied depending on the severity of the disease. Lawn diseases should be treated as soon as you start to see symptoms. Try to avoid overwatering the areas and follow good mowing habits, as well. The damaged areas can sometimes be repaired by raking away the thatch and reseeding in the fall.
A yellow lawn can get out of hand quickly. If you have yellow spots on your lawn, contact the professionals who can give you a free lawn analysis, as well as ensure any lawn pest control needs are also met.
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A Step-by-Step Guide to Spring Lawn Care
Does sitting outside in the extreme heat of summer stress you out? You’re not alone! Extreme heat stresses out your lawn also! The lack of water and unbearable heat can wreak havoc on your lawn. What can you do to make sure your lawn has a stress free summer? Check out these 10 tips to care for your lawn in extreme heat.
1. Don’t Cut Too Short
Cutting your grass too short limits your plants’ ability to produce energy for growth. When grass is cut to a proper height it develops stronger roots that allow for more support and make them more tolerant of stress.
2. Stick To The 1/3 Rule
When cutting your grass in the heat, try to stick to the 1/3 Rule: Never remove more than 1/3 of grass height at one time. By sticking to this rule, your lawn is kept cooler because less plant tissue is removed. This allows your lawn to thrive and avoid stress.
3. Limit Watering
Many people still water their lawns after rainfall. In general, grass manages better when soil is on the dry side rather than wet. When soil is consistently wet it can cause many problems for both the plants and soil organisms. Wet soil deprives plant roots of oxygen and makes them more susceptible to disease. Try to avoid watering daily. Lawns only need 1″ of water per week including rainfall. Try to water deeply and infrequently. Watering deeply means wetting the entire root zone. Watering infrequently means only watering when the grass is dry. Try to water early in the morning when your lawn can get the full benefit of hydration before the sun dries it out by mid-day. Watering in the evening leaves the water standing overnight with nothing to dry it up which can lead to mold and fungus.
4. Don’t Mow In A Drought
Try to avoid mowing during the stress of a drought. Lawns have limited capabilities to recover from mowing during drought and it can actually cause even more damage. During a drought, try to mow after a rainfall or after an irrigation day. Try to resist mowing while the grass is still wet to avoid clumping.
5. Sharpen Mower Blades
When grass is cut with sharp mower blades the plant will heal much faster. Mowing with dull blades actually tears the plant tissue rather than cutting it, causing more stress and damage to your grass. Torn grass develops a brown appearance and is more susceptible to disease and stress.
6. Don’t Bag Clippings
If possible, use a mulching mower so clippings can be returned to your lawn. Clippings can actually act as a slow-release fertilizer as they decompose on your lawn and can be quite beneficial to your lawn’s health.
7. Avoid Fertilizer
Although fertilizing your lawn might seem like a good idea, it is actually best to avoid it during the hot summer months. In the summer, grass consumes more energy than they produce. Fertilizer actually promotes growth which causes the grass to consume even more energy which causes more stress on your already taxed lawn. It’s best to fertilize in the fall as part of your winter lawn prep.
8. Minimize Traffic
Foot traffic on already stressed grass can beat down the blades which prevents them from springing back. Try to avoid foot traffic on your lawn, if possible. You may consider laying down stepping stones to help people avoid walking on your grass.
9. Pest Control
Insects and disease are more prevalent in the summer months. Some common lawn pests include chinch bugs, sod webworms, army worms, fire ants, and fleas. Fungal diseases like mildew and brown patch are also common in the summer. To avoid pests and fungus, try to water in the early morning and avoid nighttime watering. If necessary, apply a fungicide on a mild day when the extreme heat has passed.
10. Call A Pro
Professional lawn care companies can come out and provide you with a free lawn care analysis to assess your lawn’s needs and set you up with a scheduled service plan to help you get the greenest, healthiest lawn you can. Many companies provide services such as weed control, lawn pest control, fertilization, aeration, tree and shrub care, and even disease control.