A lush, green lawn adds instant curb appeal to your home, but keeping it green and healthy year-round is not always an easy task. Even a well-manicured lawn can be invaded by a variety of outdoor pests that can quickly turn it from lush green to yellow or brown. Proper lawn care should include lawn pest control services to ensure a healthy lawn throughout the year.
All lawns, as well as trees, plants and shrubs, are susceptible to outdoor pests. However, lawns and landscapes with poor growing conditions and lack of proper maintenance are much more likely to be invaded. Without essential lawn pest control services, your lawn can become a breeding ground for all types of pests. Hard-to-see insects like mealybugs and aphids, small beetles and caterpillars, underground wire worms and fire ants, and annoying slugs and snails all love to feed on unhealthy lawns.
If your home is located in an area with a lot of trees and vegetation, small critters like chipmunks, gophers or groundhogs, rabbits, opossums and raccoons, may decide to build their home in your yard. If you live in a rural, wooded area, you may even encounter deer, coyotes, bears and snakes. Even though many of these animals are cute and fuzzy, they have destructive behaviors that can quickly destroy your landscape.
Common Lawn Pests in Bergen County
If your grass is turning yellow or reddish-brown in color, it could be suffering from a chinch bug problem. These tiny insects are difficult to spot in the grass, especially during the day since they feed at night. Chinch bugs tend to feed on many of the most common types of grasses like perennial ryegrass, red fescue, bentgrass and Kentucky bluegrass. These nasty little critters usually attack thick, sunny turf areas by sucking the juices out of the grass blades and injecting a toxin that loosens the roots from their soil.
Look for areas of turf that lift up easily, like a patch of carpet. If you spot this, you likely have chinch bugs and you should contact a professional landscape company that provides lawn pest control services in Bergen County, NJ.
Beetles typically invade and attack during June, starting from the top foliage and moving their way downward. While they don’t actually eat the grass itself, they lay their eggs in the soil and these eggs turn into white grubs which will definitely eat your grass and its roots. When grass roots are damaged, your grass can’t grow, which usually results in patches of brown or dead turf. Japanese beetles lay their larvae, known as white lawn grubs, which hatch in early to mid-spring, then turn into Japanese beetles by mid-summer.
If you notice any signs of munched-on leaves, plants or fruit, it could be a sign that you have a Japanese beetle colony in your yard. Leaves that appear skeleton-like are a common sign of a Japanese beetle infestation.
European Crane Flies
The European crane fly, common to Northeast regions like New Jersey, looks a lot like an over-sized mosquito. It’s larvae, known as leatherjackets, typically hatch in the fall, then feed on grass roots throughout the winter, especially in mild winters. When spring arrives, the damage becomes evident. You will see a weak, unhealthy lawn instead of a lawn that’s growing and turning green for spring.
If you spot these conditions, inspect the top 3 inches of sod for leatherjackets from February to mid-May. The best places to check are areas where the grass looks unhealthy, is turning yellow or missing in spots. Shady and wet areas are particularly vulnerable to European crane flies and their larvae.
Army worms typically appear in the fall when temperatures are getting cooler and moisture is heavier in the air, since they usually feed at night. They resemble caterpillars with a long, dark stripe down each side. These small, harmless-looking insects usually appear in large numbers and can eat your grass right down to the soil, leaving you with brown or bare spots in your lawn.
Common Garden Pests in Bergen County
Garden pests are those small animals that tend to wreak havoc in gardens, lawns and landscaped areas. Some can even undermine your home’s foundation and building structure with their burrowing behavior. Garden pests can destroy your lawn and landscape without proper lawn pest control services.
Eastern chipmunks, common to the Northeast, are small, brown, ground-dwelling squirrels with a short pointy head, two white stripes down the back and a narrow tail. They primarily feed on berries, nuts, grains, 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.
Groundhogs, also called woodchucks, belong to the squirrel family. They usually hibernate during winter in underground burrows that they dig in sheltered landscape areas. They eat all types of green vegetation, but also like to dig for grubs under the soil. Groundhogs can quickly tear up your garden and lawn. which will require replanting.
When moles are at work, you’ll see volcano-like mounds of soil and raised ridges running through your lawn. Moles excavate deep tunnels by pushing underground soil to the surface, creating mounds on top. Moles will tunnel through your lawn feeding on insects, worms and grubs. They’re more common in over-watered lawns where the soil is easier to dig.
Opossums and Raccoons
Opossums and raccoons like to feed on vegetation. They’re active at night and like to build homes under areas where they feel safe. You may find them in your basement, under your deck, beneath woodpiles and even in your attic. Opossums live in underground dens, so they tend to burrow more than raccoons. Since both animals like to dig, they can cause considerable destruction to gardens and lawns, as well as structural damage to your home. Opossums and raccoons are not dangerous, but they may attack and bite if they feel threatened.
Although deer don’t have teeth in the front of their upper jaw, they can cause damage to your lawn and plants by pulling and twisting them when grazing. Lawn pest control services in Bergen County, NJ can provide organic remedies to keep deer away from your plants.
Garden pests tend to move from empty fields or uncultivated areas to nearby lawns, gardens and landscaped areas in search of food and shelter. They create quite a nuisance and they’re difficult to get rid of without lawn pest control services.
Pest Control Treatments
The best prevention for any type of lawn problems is proper lawn care and regular maintenance. A pest control program can protect your lawn from common insects that feed on healthy grass, quickly robbing your lawn of essential nutrients, healthy soil and water. If you’re noticing some warning signs of a damaged lawn, talk to a qualified landscape company who can provide lawn pest control services in Bergen County, NJ that include:
- Chinch Bug Control – Applied as needed in late spring through early fall, it will get rid of chinch bugs that feed on all types of grasses. Heavy chinch bug infestations can cause your lawn to turn brown and die within several days.
- Grub Control – Applied once during summer and early fall, it will control grubs, the larvae of beetles, that love to feast on the roots of grass and plants. Grub infestations, the most common type of lawn pest problem, are difficult to see and control since they live underground.
When to Begin Pest Control Treatments
Although lawn pest problems can occur at any time throughout the year, it’s best to begin lawn pest control services in Bergen County, NJ early in the year. This way, you will be prepared for spring and summer growth seasons, a prime time when many lawn pests invade lawns and landscapes.
In addition to lawn pests, various types of fungal diseases and weeds are just waiting for spring so that they can invade your lawn when plants and flowers are blooming, grass is growing, soil is rich and fertile and new growth is abundant.
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 lawn care provider can identify the pests and offer the best pest control solutions before problems get worse. An Integrated Pest Management Program with quality lawn pest control services includes:
- Property visits from a qualified specialist during the year.
- Tree and shrub inspections with each property visit and recommended treatments as needed.
- A detailed report after each inspection outlining any problems that were found and how those problems were treated.
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 trees, shrubs and plants and plants that attract the insects that are good for your lawn and garden.
Specialty treatments enhance regular lawn care and maintenance to provide complete lawn pest control services in for your home. Specialty treatments 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
Tree Trunk Injections
Your trees are just as likely to suffer pest damage as your lawn and garden. Small insects like caterpillars, spider mites and parasitic wasps can invade your trees to feed on the leaves, while certain types of borer insects, like beetles and peach tree borers, will invade the tree trunks.
Although no trees are immune to pest invasion, fruit trees are the most vulnerable. Many insects, as well as small mammals and birds, are attracted to fruit trees. They can quickly destroy the fruit and cause serious damage to the trees. Tree truck injections from an Integrated Pest Management Program can prevent all types of outdoor pests from damaging your trees.
Do You Need Lawn Pest Control Services?
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 that can quickly ruin your beautiful lawn. To keep your lawn green and healthy year-round, talk to a professional landscape company that can provide quality lawn pest control services in Bergen County, NJ as part of your regular lawn care and maintenance.