A lush, green lawn requires proper lawn care and maintenance year-round. However, even the best kept lawns are susceptible to damage from pests and diseases without proper pest control in Bergen County.
Take a look at 10 important pest control tips that will help keep your lawn and landscape healthy and beautiful.
1. Maintain Your Lawn
Regular lawn care and maintenance not only keeps your lawn well-manicured, but it also provides protection against harmful pests and diseases. Tall grass, dead leaves and lawn debris provide a safe haven for insects and diseases that can quickly destroy your well-kept lawn. For best prevention, you should mow your lawn and remove dead leaves and lawn debris on a regular basis.
Regular lawn maintenance is essential to a healthy, well-maintained lawn. Without it, your grass can quickly become overgrown, resulting in an ill-kept appearance for your home and a multitude of problems for your lawn and landscape. Most professional landscape companies have trained, experienced crews that provide regular lawn maintenance on a weekly basis, as well as lawn care combined with pest control in Bergen County areas. Professional lawn care and maintenance services typically include:
- Weekly lawn mowing
- Border edging for sidewalks, walkways and driveways
- Regular lawn weed control
- Cleaning of pathway, walkway and driveway surfaces
- Spring cleanup to remove dead winter growth and debris in the yard
- Fall cleanup to cut back summer overgrowth, remove leaves and and prepare for winter
Regular lawn care and maintenance is the best way to keep your lawn healthy and pest-free. With regular lawn care services, your lawn care provider can watch for pest problems and recommend solutions before your lawn becomes damaged. Talk to your lawn care provider or a professional landscape company who provides lawn care with pest control in Bergen County.
2. Trim Trees and Shrubs
Tree limbs and branches can act like bridges when they fall, creating easy passageways for rats, squirrels, raccoons and snakes to enter your attic vents. Keep all existing trees and shrubs trimmed year-round. Try to cut limbs and branches off at least 10 feet away from the roof line. When planting new trees and shrubs, try to keep them at least 20 feet away from your house.
Tall and mature trees can drop limbs, branches and leaves during rainstorms and heavy winds. Check your yard after inclement weather conditions for debris. Clean up fallen limbs, branches and wet leaves as soon as possible to prevent insects and small animals from nesting around the debris.
3. Eliminate Standing Water
Excess moisture in your yard and landscape will attract many insects, especially mosquitoes, to your property, so it’s important to eliminate any standing water in your yard and landscape, as well as around the outside of your home. This means paying attention to your watering habits and checking for any drainage issues that could cause standing water in your yard or around your house.
Proper Watering Techniques
Most lawns require about ½ inch to 1 inch of water each week for healthy growth. Although nature usually provides enough water through rainfall in northern NJ for grass to grow strong, there are times when you may need to water your lawn. When watering, wait until the lawn becomes dull green in color and footprints remain visible in the grass.
- Water deeply and infrequently.
- Water during morning hours when there’s less sun and wind (6 am – 10 am).
- If you can’t water in the morning, water in the early evening (4 pm – 7 pm).
- Avoid watering in the hottest part of the day (11 am – 3 pm).
- If using sprinklers, apply about a ½ inch of water twice per week. To gauge sprinkler applications, set out an empty can to measure the amount of water collected. Depending on the type of sprinklers, watering could take between 15 and 30 minutes.
Too much or too little water can cause damage to your lawn. Running the sprinklers all night or in damp conditions can set up an environment that attracts insects and diseases. Once this happens, you will need lawn care pest control in Bergen County to correct the problems. Light, frequent watering can create grass with shallow root systems which can result in lawn problems, especially in hot weather.
If your yard dries out within a couple of days after a rainstorm, that’s normal, but if your yard has soggy areas or puddles for longer periods, it’s time to check for drainage problems. Wet areas that remain for more than one or two days after rain or snow are usually caused by improper grading or poor water infiltration into the soil.
- Grading Problems – If you have grading problems, they can prevent water from flowing away into a storm drain or other outlet. Check lawn and landscape areas for low spots or uneven soil areas. Check ground areas around your home’s foundation to make sure they slope away from foundation walls.
- Poor Infiltration – If you have areas with compacted soil, soil with high clay content or soil with a shallow depth to bedrock, water can rest on top of these materials, either at the ground surface or slightly below it, causing sogginess. To remedy these conditions, you may need to amend your soil.
4. Eliminate Food Sources
An unhealthy lawn is susceptible to various insects like aphids, army worms, grubs, mealy bugs and fire ants. Food sources in your yard or near your home can attract other types of pests like small animals and rodents who will eagerly go wherever food can be found. Once insects and other pests have invaded your yard, they can also invade your home, requiring immediate lawn care pest control in Bergen County. To prevent them, make sure you remove any sources of food around your home, like garbage bags, pet food, bird feeders and fallen fruit.
Garden pests, small animals that can do significant damage to your yard and landscape, will be attracted by nearby food. Some of these little critters can even undermine your home’s foundation and building structure with their burrowing behavior. If you notice signs of garden pests, contact a qualified landscape company who can provide lawn care pest control in Bergen County.
- Rats and Field Mice – These rodents can cause damage to your lawn, garden and fruit trees, as well as potential disease to your family and pets. If you spot rats or field mice around your home, get rid of them as soon as possible.
- Chipmunks – Eastern chipmunks, common to northern NJ, primarily feed on grains, berries, seeds and insects, but they will also dig up and eat flower bulbs and seedlings. These expert burrowers can do a lot of damage to your landscape, especially in large numbers.
- Moles – Moles excavate deep tunnels by pushing underground soil to the surface. They will tunnel through your lawn feeding on insects, worms and grubs leaving volcano-like mounds of soil and raised ridges running through your lawn.
- Raccoons – Raccoons feed on vegetation, but they will be attracted by food and fallen fruit. They like to dig, and often seek refuge under things like your house or deck where they feel safe. They can also invade your basement and attic.
- Deer – Deer graze mostly on vegetation, but they may be attracted to your yard by fallen fruit or a healthy garden. Although they’re not dangerous, they can cause significant damage to your landscape by grazing on plants.
Garden pests and small animals can create quite a nuisance, and they’re difficult to get rid of without proper lawn care pest control in Bergen County.
5. Mulch Carefully
Mulching around flower beds and plants is a good way to retain moisture and reduce weed growth, but it can also attract more pests to your yard. During periods of high rainfall and excessive moisture, mulch can attract insects like sow bugs, millipedes, centipedes and earwigs. If you use mulch in your lawn or garden, look for an organic mulch or one that has a natural insect repelling scent, such as cedar or cypress.
- Organic Mulch – Organic mulches help to repel bugs by improving the chemistry of the soil as they break down. Healthy soil increases healthy bacteria, fungi and insects which help to keep plant-destroying insects at bay. Compost can attract certain insects, but this can be controlled by organic pest controls.
- Cedar and Cypress – These mulches contain natural oils and chemicals that repel bugs and insects. Cedar chips have been shown to repel, kill or prevent insects like cockroaches, carpet beetles, moths, cockroaches and certain types of ants.
Mulch is an important part of gardening. Organic mulches offer added benefits because they decay and become part of the soil. They provide nutrients to the soil that improve the health of your plants. While all mulches have benefits, organic mulches can help to deter unwanted insects in your yard.
6. Remove Wood Piles
If you have an indoor or outdoor fireplace, fire pit or wood-burning stove, it’s normal to have wood piles around the house. However, you should be careful where and how you store them. Open wood piles can be an invitation to insects, rodents and other outdoor pests that can invade your yard, and even your home, requiring lawn care pest control in Bergen County to clear up the problems.
Always store your wood piles away from your home, preferably in an enclosed or covered area at least 25 feet away from your house. Never stack wood piles against your house. This creates an open invitation to all kinds of pests including termites, rats and field mice, snakes and various types of ants, including carpenter ants that destroy wood.
7. Plant Herbs
Rosemary, a popular herb used in cooking, can also be planted to deter insects in your yard. The natural scent of rosemary works well against many types of ants that invade your lawn and garden every spring. You can plant rosemary around your yard, in flower beds or in above-ground containers. If you use decorative pots, you can scatter them around on your front porch, deck or patio. As an added benefit, rosemary is a wonderful herb for flavoring many different dishes.
Feverfew, an herb derived from Chrysanthemums, is a great deterrent against wasps and bees that like to congregate on your lawn. Feverfew has a potent scent that bees find quite repulsive, so it’s a natural repellent for these flying pests who love to invade your landscape and garden, especially in spring and summer when you enjoy being outdoors. Feverfew is so potent that you should keep it away from your vegetable garden, if you have one, to preserve pollination.
8. Diversify Plants
Plant different varieties of shrubs, plants and flowers within your landscape. A yard or landscape that’s dominated by one main plant species is more susceptible to a single type of insect. Biodiversity in a yard encourages a healthy, balanced ecosystem and lessens the risk of infestation. Look for plants that naturally repel pests either by their scent or chemical makeup. By choosing the right group of plants for your yard, you can create natural lawn care pest control in Bergen County for your home and property.
- Lavender – Although people love the smell of lavender, mosquitoes, flies, fleas and moths hate it. Plant it in sunny areas of your garden or near entryways to your house to help keep those areas pest free.
- Lemongrass – Citronella is a natural oil found in lemongrass, an ornamental plant that can grow up to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It will grow well in a pot or in the ground in a sunny, well-drained location. Citronella is a natural insect repellent.
- Alliums – Colorful allium plants, with flower heads on stalks up to six feet tall, are regarded as a broad-spectrum natural insecticide. They repel numerous insects that plague vegetable gardens, including aphids, slugs, cabbage worms and carrot flies. They will also keep aphids off your rose bushes.
- Chrysanthemums – These lovely flowers contain pyrethrum, an ingredient used in common insecticides and pesticides for lawn care pest control in Bergen County. Chrysanthemums will repel ants, roaches, silverfish, Japanese beetles, lice, ticks, fleas, bedbugs, harlequin bugs, spider mites and nematodes.
- Marigolds – The scent from various types of marigold plants will repel aphids, mosquitoes and even rabbits. The roots of marigolds are well-known among farmers to repel nematodes, a tiny insect that can destroy vegetable crops.
9. Install a Fountain or Birdbath
Birds are natural enemies to many small insects and pests that can invade your lawn and landscape. A fountain or birdbath will attract all types of birds who look for sources of water to drink and bathe. Many lawn pests are tiny insects like mealy bugs, aphids and grubs that are difficult to see. White grubs and army worms are more active at night, and they’re found mostly under the soil, making it very difficult to detect their presence until lawn damage occurs.
Birds have a much better radar for finding and eating these tiny pests before they wipe out your lawn. If you add a fountain or birdbath to your yard, look for one with a recirculating pump to avoid any pest problems from stagnant or standing water.
10. Hire a Professional
Professional lawn care and regular maintenance will keep your lawn well-manicured and looking good, but without some type of pest control, your lawn is vulnerable to all types of pests and diseases. To keep your lawn green and healthy year-round, talk to a professional landscape company that can provide quality lawn care pest control in Bergen County as part of your regular lawn care and maintenance.
An Integrated Pest Management Program will focus on safe, healthy pest control to keep your landscape and garden free of unwanted pests. If you have existing pest-related problems, a professional can easily identify the pests and offer the best pest control solutions before problems get worse.
Professional lawn care and regular maintenance will help to change the balance of pests in your yard by getting rid of weeds and debris that attract pests. It will also provide regular irrigation and prevent standing water that can attract insects and small animals. Professional lawn care services can provide proper fertilization for healthy soil and plants, pest-resistant varieties of plants, shrubs and trees, and flowering plants that will attract beneficial insects and animals.
Specialty pest control treatments are available to enhance regular lawn care and maintenance. These treatments may include:
- Winter lawn pests protection
- Organic root zone feedings
- Organic flea, tick and mosquito control
- Organic deer repellent
- Additional special pests control treatments as needed
To keep your lawn looking it’s best and protect your home and property from unwanted insects and pests, talk to a qualified, professional landscape company who can provide lawn care pest control in Bergen County.