19 Apr How to Protect your Lawn from Common Summer Pests
The onset of summer brings to mind sunny days of freshly mowed lawns, days at the beach and easy breezy flip-flops. It is also, unfortunately, the time with common lawn pests are out in full force. Whether you spend your summer fending off buzzing mosquitoes or doing battle with grubs among your grass, they can definitely put a damper on your summer dreams. So what’s a person to do?
There are many types of pests that tend to invade the lawn in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. One of the more commons ones are white grubs. The main symptoms are irregular brown patches showing up on your lawn in late spring or early fall. The browning is caused by the grubs feeding on the roots of the grass, thus destroying it and causing the grass to wilt. Grubs are small in nature, usually ¼ inch to ¾ inch long since they are larvae of beetles. One of the more easier ways to deal with them is to keep the surface moist through periodic watering, dethatching and aerating. Another alternative is to overturn the brown patches so that the grubs’ natural predators like birds and raccoons can take a snack out of the grubs. Then add humus to the soil and replace the damaged grass to prevent future grub problems.
Another common pest is the cinch bug. Like the white grub, these guys suck on the sap of turf grasses and can quickly brown grasses on hot days. Cinch bugs appear with black and white wings and about 1/6-inch long. Hatched nymphs are way smaller compared to the adults and are bright red with a white band across their backs. A healthy lawn is the best defense against the cinch bugs, it is best to keep the grass at a 6-7.5 cm length, water enough to keep the soil moist at a depth of 7 cm. Removing the layers of thatch and aerating are also great preventative measures against cinch bugs.
Leatherjacket or crane flies and sod webworms are pests that you may also encounter in the summer. Fortunately, the measures mentioned above are good at preventing theses pests from infesting your lawn, too.
Spices can help to deter pests from your garden beds; mix a little Tabasco sauce with water and put it in a spritz bottle for easy application all summer long. This will not only deter a huge variety of bugs but also deer and other forest critters. Mulching often helps to provide a home for beneficial insects, and if you use sharp edged pieces of wood mulch or some other slightly abrasive cover, you’ll have helped to deter your slug problem. They don’t like moving over sharp mulch with their soft bodies and will have to search out other areas to find their food.
With these tips, your lawn will be able to repel against these common pests and look great all summer long!