Northern New Jersey is home to beautiful homes and estates, parks and recreational facilities and outdoor attractions, but it’s also home to a variety of outdoor pests that can disrupt your outdoor activities, especially in spring and summer when outdoor activities are most enjoyable.
To protect your home’s landscape and the safety of your children and pets, lawn pest control in NJ should be an essential part of your regular lawn care and maintenance. As a Bergen County homeowner, it’s important to prevent common outdoor pests that contribute to significant lawn and landscape damage, plant disease and serious illnesses for your family and pets. Take a look at eight helpful tips for lawn pest control in NJ to promote a green, healthy lawn and safe outdoor environment.
1. Provide Regular Lawn Care and Maintenance
When it comes to pest control, the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could not be more accurate. Outdoor pests like harmful insects and small animals are attracted to overgrown, ill-maintained lawns and landscapes. Overgrowth and weeds provide a great hiding place from predators and a safe, warm home that’s less likely to be disturbed. Regular lawn care and maintenance is one of the best ways to prevent outdoor pests in your landscape, but it should include regular lawn pest control in NJ for best year-round protection. Professional lawn care services usually include:
- Weekly lawn mowing
- Regular weeding
- Regular border edging for walkways, driveways and patio areas
- Regular cleaning of walkways, driveways and patio areas
- Spring cleanup to remove yard debris and dead winter growth
- Fall cleanup to remove yard debris, dead summer growth and prepare for winter weather
2. Trim Your Shrubs and Trees
Tall, overgrown shrubs and tree limbs can act like bridges from your landscape to your home’s roof. They can create easy passageways for squirrels, rats and mice, raccoons and snakes to enter your house through attic vents near the roof. To prevent these problems, you should plant new trees 20-25 feet away from your house if possible. If trees are already planted, you should trim tree limbs off at least 10 or 15 feet from the roof line. Remember, if you’re planting new trees they will grow to full height, so you need to consider the type and size of trees you purchase for your landscape. If you’re not sure what type of trees are best, talk to a landscape professional who can evaluate your landscape for lawn pest control in NJ.
3. Plant Your Garden Early
To grow and protect a beautiful flower garden or vegetable garden, plant early. By planting early in the season, you can help rid your garden of uninvited outdoor pests that like to munch on tender new blooms and leaves. Geraniums planted in early spring are known to repel cabbage worms, leaf hoppers and red spider mites. Many outdoor pests that like to invade flower beds and gardens don’t invade until early summer. If you plant in the spring, many of your plants will be past their most vulnerable stages and will be stronger to fight off insects. With proper lawn pest control in NJ, your gardens will be protected from outdoor pest damage during spring and summer.
4. Get Rid of Mosquitoes
Pesky mosquitoes can not only quickly ruin your outdoor activities during the spring and summer, but they can also spread illness to your family and pets. Mosquito bites cause itching, swelling and rashes in humans and heart worms in dogs. They can transmit serious illnesses like West Nile Virus, Malaria and now Zika Virus through their bites. This year, Northern NJ has had a warmer than usual winter, so mosquitoes are expected to be out in full force this spring and summer. It’s important to reduce mosquitoes in your landscape with lawn pest control in NJ and by following these important tips:
- Eliminate standing water around your home
- Keep your gutters clean to prevent mosquito breeding
- Adjust sprinklers to prevent over-watering
- Clean your swimming pool, spa and covers regularly
- Create ornamental ponds with goldfish and guppies that feed on mosquitoes
The citronella geranium, a special variety also known as the mosquito plant, has been known to repel mosquitoes. This plant contains citronella oil, the same oil that’s in citronella candles, and the scent is released when the leaves are rubbed or crushed.
5. Watch Out for Fleas and Ticks
Flea bites cause skin irritation, itching and blood loss, and some species can carry bubonic plague and typhus fever. Other species are carriers of tapeworms which can be transmitted to both humans and pets if fleas are ingested. Ticks carry and transmit diseases like Lyme disease, Colorado tick fever and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Lyme disease, caused by deer ticks, can cause a variety of illness symptoms that range from mild to severe. Deer ticks and Lyme disease are very common in the Northeast, and repeat infections can occur year after year when exposed to tick bites. Reducing exposure to fleas and ticks with lawn pest control in NJ is the best defense against illness and disease.
- Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns
- Stack wood neatly in a dry outdoor area
- Create a 3-ft wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas
- Place playground equipment in sunny locations and away from yard edges
- Remove yard debris and trash that provides good hiding places
6. Protect Your Home From Rodents
Many varieties of outdoor pests not only invade your lawn and landscape, they also invade your home. Outdoor pests like roaches, mice and rats can invade your home through open doors and windows, basements, attics and foundation cracks. Lawn pest control in NJ is essential to keep outdoor pests away from your home and family.
- Roaches – Roaches are difficult to eliminate once they invade your home. They spread germs and diseases, and can also cause allergic reactions and asthma symptoms in some people. Roaches reproduce quickly, so you need to prevent them from entering your home.
- Mice and Rats – Mice and rats usually invade your landscape looking for food. They’re drawn to overgrown and ill-maintained lawns and landscapes with any type of debris. Mice and rats can chew through many building materials and cause significant structural damage to your home. They often enter a home during the winter looking for shelter, warmth and food. Rat bites or scratches can result in disease or rat-bite fever, and rat urine can spread leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that affects both humans and animals.
7. Create a Diverse Landscape
By planting certain varieties of plants and flowers, you can create natural pest control and encourage biodiversity. A yard that is dominated by one major plant variety or turf grass is more susceptible to outdoor pests. Biodiversity in a yard encourages a healthy, balanced ecosystem and lessens the risk of infestation from outdoor pests. Certain plants and flowers can promote natural pest control in your landscape.
- Chrysanthemums – These colorful flowers contain a chemical called pyrethin that’s toxic to insects but safe for humans and animals. You can actually make a tea from the flowers.
- Clover – When used as a ground cover, clover can ward off outdoor pests like aphids and cabbage worms in garden beds.
- Feverfew – The strong scent of feverfew will deter bees, wasps and hornets from building nests under shutters and eaves, but keep it away from vegetable gardens to preserve pollination.
- Lavender – Lavender not only repels pests in your garden, it also repels fleas, mosquitoes and moths, and it has a pleasant aroma.
- Marigolds – These popular flowers are great for natural pest repellent. The French Marigold variety will repel white flies and protect the health of the soil under plants.
8. Integrated Pest Management
An Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) is a pest control approach that uses natural, organic lawn pest control in NJ for your home. It provides a way to prevent unwanted pests in your lawn and landscape while promoting a safe, outdoor environment. If you have existing pest problems and damages, an IPM can help identify the pests and provide proper pest control solutions to prevent further damage. An Integrated Pest Management Program provides top-quality pest control services in Bergen County that include:
- Regular property visits from an IPM specialist throughout the year
- Regular inspections of your lawn, shrubs and trees by an IPM specialist to evaluate pest problems on your property
- Detailed reports that outline any pest problems found and how those problems are treated
In addition to regular lawn care and maintenance, an Integrated Pest Management Program provides specialty treatments that promote organic pest control services in Bergen County to keep your landscape healthy and pest free. IPM specialty treatments include:
- Winter protection treatments
- Organic root feedings
- Organic flea, mosquito and tick control
- Organic deer repellent
- Other special treatments as needed
Tree Trunk Injections
Your trees are also susceptible to outdoor pests like spider mites, caterpillars and parasitic wasps that feed on leaves. Borer insects like Japanese Beetles invade tree trunks and feed on bark. Fruit trees are susceptible to squirrels, chipmunks, birds and small rodents who will eat the fruit. An Integrated Pest Management Program provides organic tree trunk injections to prevent pests and damages. Organic lawn pest control in NJ will provide a safe, healthy, pest-free outdoor environment for your family and pets.