Insect control for lawns is an important part of a homeowner’s responsibilities. Most homeowners only rely on pest control strategies once the invaders are indoors. Did you know the underlying cause of problems indoors often starts in your yard?
Aside from property damage, insects bite, sting, carry diseases and can cause severe allergic reactions thus putting your family’s health at risk.
Your lawn isn’t just grass; it is an investment of time, money and more importantly – memories. In order to keep property infestation-free, prevention and control begins outdoors.
How do you know insect invaders are paying your lawn a visit? The most typical signs of pest damage include:
- Bare spots
- Discolored turf
- Detached turf
The golden rule of good insect control is to be a good gardener
The best way to keep your lawn healthy and free of insect damage is good cultural practices. Healthy lawns require few (if any) insecticide treatments.
The right amount of H20
Excess moisture in your lawn attracts many types of insects. Irrigate the lawn no more than twice a week. When watering, do it early in the day and allow ample time for drying. Monitor your lawn, especially during the rainy seasons, for drainage problems or standing water that may attract pests.
The zen of grass maintenance
Insects thrive in tall grass, so keep it cut short. No more than 1/3 of your grass’ height should be removed at a time when mowing so the roots don’t get stunted. Removing 1/3 of grass’ height will also prevent most weeds from germinating, thus reducing breeding and hiding sites for insect pests.
Rake to remove debris such as dead foliage and fallen leaves where insects can hide to lay eggs or start a nest.
Be sure to trim shrubs and bushes surrounding your lawn to reduce harborage spots; removing weeds serves the same purpose.
Avoid the toxic touch
It’s typically smarter to forgo using harsh chemicals on your lawn to avoid potentially harmful exposure and the killing of beneficial insects. There’s a myriad of ways you can keep your landscaping green without having to spread poisonous goop on anything or use a sprayer that calls for an OSHA-approved canister mask.
Remember the more grass relies on chemicals, the more you have to apply them to remain effective. Grass dependent on chemicals, much like humans, becomes weaker and faces withdrawals. Grass which has had too heavy of a chemical application will start turning brown and die.
A rude awakening
After you finish that morning cup of ‘joe’- toss the grounds in the grass and garden. Coffee grounds not only add nitrogen to the soil and increase acidity for acid loving plants. A wide range of creepy crawlies can’t stand the stuff. Stop by Starbucks or your local coffee shop for piles of coffee grounds which patrons are allowed to take for composting and other projects.
Milky spore and beneficial nematodes are highly recommended for organic lawn care maintenance.
Nematodes, or microscopic worms, control insect and grub populations by infecting the host, typically larvae. They carry bacteria that break down the internal structure of the host through enzymes. Once nematode eggs hatch, they feed on the broken down interior of the insect larvae. Infected larvae die within 24 to 48 hours.
Milky Spore is a natural bacterium that contaminates the grubs of Japanese Beetles with Milky Spore Disease. The disease paralyzes and kills the host. As the dead grub decomposes, billions of spores enter the ground, which in turn, enter and kill other grubs. Infected grubs die within 1-3 weeks.
Attract bug-eating birds to your yard sims freeplay hack to keep the pest population down and your grass green – and hey – the birds get a free happy hour.
Twiggy shrubs and small trees provide many appealing nesting options. Birds are attracted to moving water. Consider installing a small circulating fountain so the chirpers can bathe and take a drink.
Though birds enjoy bugs, they also like a little variety in their snacking. Instead of putting the feeders away in warm weather, leave one out filled with a quality seed mixture.
Almighty DIY sprays
For a clever all-purpose insect deterrent, try a mixture of garlic, onions, dish soap and water.
- Chop 1 onion and 1 garlic bulb, let sit in a single quart of water overnight
- Mix in a tablespoon of dish soap
- Spray solution over your lawn and garden
The solution will deter most insects from destroying your plants due to their natural aversion to the smell and taste.
Another effective organic spray to get rid of insects consists of mixing 10-20 milliliters of high-grade mineral spray oil with 1 liter of water in a spray bottle. Shake the solution vigorously and apply it to your lawn and garden in order to dehydrate insects and eggs.
Remember, it is normal to find a few pests in every healthy lawn. Contacting professional pest control companies is the best way to determine the right course of insect control for lawns.