Complete Lawn Pest Control
Turf pests can not only cause damage to your lawn and landscaping but they can also become a nuisance to your family and four-legged friends. Common lawn pests can cause allergic reactions and become a transmitter of diseases. Its important to have a professional with the education and experience properly treat for these pests.
Treating for your families health.
The CDC states that ticks and fleas can be carriers of some of the world's most destructive diseases, many of which are increasing threats to human health. Creating an effective prevention plan is the best way to lessen the risk of your family and pets to these diseases.
Treating for the health of your lawn.
Turf pests are classified into two groups; surface and subsurface. Surface insects chew on the grass blades turning areas yellow or brown. Subsurface insects devour the roots of grass plants. Although subsurface insects can be difficult to spot, their feeding habits can be quite obvious, causing extensive damage to your lawn.
Watch this video to see how pests can effect your family and lawn.
Common Lawn Pests
Japanese Beetles (White Grubs)
The Japanese beetle is probably the most devastating pest of urban landscape plants in Ohio.
Adults emerge from the ground and begin feeding on plants in June. Activity is most intense over the 4 to 6 week period beginning in late June. Individual beetles live about 30 to 45 days. Japanese beetles feed on about 300 species of plants, devouring leaves, flowers, and overripe or wounded fruit.
Egg laying begins soon after the adults emerge from the ground and mate. Females leave plants in the afternoon, burrow 2 to 3 inches into the soil in a suitable area. and lay their eggs--a total of 40 to 60 during their life. The developing beetles spend the next 10 months in the soil as white grubs. The grubs grow quickly and by late August are almost full-sized (about 1 inch long). Grubs feed on the roots of turfgrasses and vegetable seedlings, doing best in good quality turf in home lawns, golf courses, parks, and cemeteries. However, they can survive in almost any soil in which plants can live.
As Japanese beetle grubs chew off grass roots, they reduce the ability of grass to take up enough water to withstand the stresses of hot, dry weather. As a result, large dead patches develop in the grub-infested areas. The damaged sod is not well-anchored and can be rolled back like a carpet to expose the grubs. If the damage is allowed to develop to this stage, it may be too late to save the turf. Early recognition of the problem can prevent this destruction.
The larval stage of Billbugs causes significant damage feeding inside the stem then tunneling through the stem and dropping to the thatch where they feed on crowns and roots. They can destroy an entire lawn. Damage frequently appears from late June through early August as spotty, straw-colored patches of grass that are usually scattered throughout the lawn. When pulled, the grass lifts easily. Lying in the soil are fat, humpbacked grubs, white with brown heads, from 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. Heavy larval damage results in extensive browning and death of the turf.
Adult billbugs-black, slow-moving, snouted weevils- occasionally walk on sidewalks and driveways in May and October.
Sod webworms were first recognized as a serious pest of lawns and golf courses during the drought of 1928–1934 that affected most of the United States.
Most damage occurs during when the sod webworm larva feeds on the foliage of the turfgrass. Damage is often seen as a small area of leaves that are yellow to brown. Sod webworms themselves will not be seen because they are nocturnal. During the day the sod webworm they go into their burrows in the center of the damaged turf area.
In closely mowed turf and drought conditions damage is more severe than in maintained turf. In closely mown turf, symptoms will appear more quickly and prominently. During drought conditions, damage is more severe because the damage is often not seen until rainfall occurs.
Hairy chinch bugs can be frequent pests of home lawns in Ohio. They are often associated with open, sunny areas and groups can grow as large as 150 to 200 insects per square foot. Their populations frequently go unnoticed because of their small size and coloration, which blend with turfgrass and thatch. Chinch bug damage can be masked during periods of drought.
Chinch bugs have two generations per year in Ohio. The first generations damage peaks in late July to mid June and the second generation nymphs appear in August. They prefer feeding on red fescues, perennial ryegrass, bentgrass, and Kentucky bluegrass. Chinch bug infestations often occur in turfgrass with thick thatch that is exposed to full sunlight during periods of hot/dry weather. Damage frequently appears from early July through late August when the insects are actively feeding. Chinch bug nymphs and adults cause significant feeding damage. The nymphs remove plant fluids and by injecting toxins that cause the grass to yellow then turn reddish brown. and eventually die creating large patches of dead, brown grass. The lawns threshold for chinch bug is 15 to 20 insects per square foot.
Fleas feed on a wide variety of hosts including humans, dogs, cats, squirrels, rats, mice, rabbits and birds. In most species fleas are a nuisance to their hosts, causing an itching sensation which in turn causes the host to try to remove the pest by biting or scratching. Flea allergy dermatitis is common in many hosts and can lead to hair loss as a result of frequent scratching. and biting by the animal and in extreme cases has been know to cause anemia. Fleas are also carriers for viral and bacterial diseases in both humans and animals, such as murine, Hymenolepiasis tapeworm, Rickettsia typhi, myxomatosis virus and the plague.
Under ideal conditions fleas can live up to a year and a half. A female flea can lay 5000 or more eggs over their life leading to a rapid increase in numbers. In most flea species the eggs are laid on the host itself and can easily fall off onto the ground. This makes the areas where the host rests and sleeps become one of the primary habitats of eggs and developing larvae. Experiments have shown that fleas lay more eggs on hosts that have limited food intakes and the eggs and larvae survive better under these conditions. perhaps because the hosts immune system is compromised. This also can mean that older or sick hosts could be more susceptible to bites and/or infestation.
Ticks are found wherever their host species occur and are commonly found in areas with tall plant life. like grass or shrubs or along the edge of wooded areas where they can latch onto humans and animals. They are not picky when choosing a host, as long as the host is warm blooded the tick will choose to feed. Upon locating a source the tick grasps the hosts and begins extracting blood by cutting a hole in the skin. The tick stays in place until it is completely engorged.
Ticks are credited with the transmission of a number of infections and bacteria such as, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, tularemia, the Heartland virus and the Powassan virus. According to the CDC each year more than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported nationwide. however studies suggest the actual number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease is more likely about 300,000. Despite these numbers a recent national survey reported that nearly 20% of people in areas where Lyme disease is common were unaware of the risk and did not take steps to protect themselves. Topical tick medicines are know to be toxic to animals and humans. Therefore the most successful way to control Ticks and prevent bites would be to treat their habitats.