2 Pests That Can Destroy Your Lawn

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When most people think of pest control, they imagine eradicating spiders or ants lurking around the kitchen or bedroom. However, pests can cause just as much trouble outside—and they can be even harder to control. Here are two pests that can destroy your lawn, and how a professional exterminator can help:

1: Grubs

Lawn health starts at the roots, which is why grubs are so destructive. Grubs, which are actually the larva of adult beetles, feed on the tender roots of your lawn, creating large patches of dead grass. Unlike other pests, when grubs attack, they actually cut the turf free.

To check for grubs, look for yellowed, dead grass, and tug on it slightly to see if it separates from the ground. If you can roll up your turf like a piece of carpet, you might have grubs. Before you call your exterminator to report the problem, try to identify the type of grubs that you have. Here are a few key characteristics that might help your pest control professional to prepare for your appointment: 

  • June Beetles: June Beetle grubs are usually between ½ an inch to one inch long whitish in color, with brown heads. June Beetle grubs are the largest grubs most homeowners find around their yards, so they are easy to spot quickly.
  • Black Turfgrass Beetles: Unfortunately, not all grubs are easy to detect. Black Turfgrass Beetle grubs are small, usually around a quarter of an inch long. To spot these grubs, look for small black scarab beetles, usually about 1/5th of an inch long. 
  • Northern Masked Chafers: If you want to find Northern Masked Chafer grubs, you will want to look in late September, when the grubs are the largest. Although Northern Masked Chafers are destructive, healthy turf can tolerate about 20 of the grubs per square foot without sustaining serious injury.

When your exterminator arrives, he or she might start by applying a chemical pesticide, such as Dylox or Carbaryl to kill off any live grubs. However, depending on the area the grubs attacked, your exterminator might also ask you to make some changes to keep the pests from coming back. For example, since beetles don't like to lay eggs on long grass, keeping your lawn at least 2 inches long might fend off future problems.

2: Field Mice

You might not worry too much about spotting a mouse outside where it belongs, but those furry little rodents could be creating a network of tunnels underneath your lawn. Field mice, also called voles, are short-tailed, brown rodents that can destroy your grass. These destructive pests munch away on grass blades and roots, leaving behind a grid of soil trails called "runways." Believe it or not, the destruction doesn't stop there. Field mice can even eat away tree bark, root vegetables, and even flowers—leaving your yard a mess.

Fortunately, your exterminator has several options to protect your yard from these annoying pests. Here are a few methods he or she might use:

  • Soil Protector: Field mice don't like sharp soil, which is why some exterminators choose to use soil protector to fend off voles. This soil contains large pieces of sharp gravel, so that field mice might choose greener pastures instead of your yard.
  • Mesh Barriers: Since field mice use common entrance and exit points to access your lawn, exterminators can control their activity by installing mesh barriers.
  • Glue Traps: Don't worry about stumbling across a decapitated field mouse while you retrieve your Sunday morning newspaper. Professional exterminators can use glue traps for voles, so that carcasses remain intact.

Before you meet with your exterminator, try to take an inventory of your lawn. Estimate the affected square footage, so that your pest control professional brings along enough supplies to handle your problem.

By working with an experienced pest control company, you might be able to keep your lawn green and beautiful all season long.

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25 September 2015

Choosing Safe, Effective Pest Control

When we realized that our daughter had severe allergies, we started thinking about what types of products we were using around our home. Instead of spraying things everywhere, we started focusing on natural, herbal remedies. Believe it or not, we even found chemical free ways to control the pests in our house. We contacted an all natural pest control company who specialized in effective, humane treatment. For example, we substituted our chemical rodent traps for glue versions, which allowed the rodents to be released back into the wild. Check out this blog for tips for choosing safe, effective pest control methods.