A beautifully green lawn also has pests. While most of them can’t cause irreparable damage to an entire area, individual spots can be damaged locally and the lawn will lose its entire appearance.
This article will tell you how animals, birds, and insects are destroying your lawn, why spoilage can occur, how dangerous earthworms, which are usually considered beneficial, can be to your lawn, and how to manage lawn pests in an environmentally friendly way.
Lawn pests and methods of control
Let’s take a detailed look at each of the lawn pests and methods of controlling them so that your lawn will always be great!
1. Moles and gnats on the lawn
Moles dig long underground passages, thereby destroying not only the roots but also throwing out piles of earth. A beautifully level lawn can turn overnight into terrain with potholes, holes, depressions, and lots of landslides.
Moles do not eat the roots of the lawn, but they damage the root system with their passages, create voids, the roots dry out, and the plant dies.
Greater blind mole-rats and shrews, unlike moles, feed on the roots of plants and lawn grass and can cause much more extensive damage.
Methods of control
Moles on the property are attracted to earthworms and insect larvae. But getting rid of the latter does not solve the problem completely, moles can still appear on the lawn.
Against moles can be used:
- special traps;
- ultrasonic repellents that are stuck in the ground;
- some household or neighborhood cats are successful at catching moles.
But all these methods can not give a 100% result for the following reasons:
- Traps will work for some moles, and new ones will come to replace them. It is necessary to dig out their passages, and if you have an impressive sown area, catching moles is no fun.
- The chemicals exterminate the population, which is not at all environmentally friendly because moles harm the lawn, but they don’t harm the environment. And once again, if one mole is exterminated, another mole will take its place.
- It is better to do business with scarecrows. Because of the ultrasound moles do not want to approach the surface of the earth. If they help you – you’re lucky, and you can really forget about moles on the lawn!
- Also, cats catch moles throughout the summer season by tearing up piles of earth, but that doesn’t solve the problem of keeping your lawn decorative and attractive.
- Some handymen advise incorporating weasel sounds into open mole holes.
A proven method of fighting moles
But there is one method that is guaranteed to work, without exterminating all life, without disrupting the natural processes of nature.
This is mole netting!A solid fabric made of dense polymer with small-sized cells
Let’s take a closer look:
- The mesh is laid over the entire surface of the future lawn to a depth of 5-10 cm. Perhaps this is the only disadvantage of this method, the safety of the lawn should be taken care of in advance.
- If you want, you can cut the already mature reinforced lawn in rolls, lay the grid, and place the lawn on top, but at the stage of soil preparation, it is much more convenient to do it.
- The grid does not block the air access to the plants, does not get rid of worms, and does not prohibit moles to make tunnels, but it makes it absolutely impossible for moles, gadflies, and rodents to get on the surface of the lawn. No traces, holes, piles of the earth!
- Mesh is not afraid of lawn scarification and aeration. If in the future you want to have a flower bed on the lawn, the mesh is cut along the perimeter of the future flower bed with a spade and laid with a slight overlap on the bottom.
This way the moles will not damage not only the lawn but also the flower bed. The same principle works in the garden, and in the garden in the beds, in the greenhouse.
2. Earthworms – why are they dangerous to the lawn?
Worms benefit the soil by digging holes, thereby aerating and ventilating it. This is good for the soil and for gardens and orchards.
But not for your lawn!
It’s not the worms themselves that are dangerous, but their waste products. Worms throw small piles of soil on the surface, which later on when crushed will make the lawn look untidy, and can also serve as a breeding ground for various weeds.
Methods of control
If piles of earth from worms do not embarrass you in any way on the lawn, do not bring visual changes, it is better not to do anything.
But if there are a lot of them, and after that began to appear weeds on the lawn, it is worth considering these methods.
Recall, we do not have a goal to destroy worms, they are very useful for the soil, our task is to minimize their appearance on the lawn.
To do this, we need to:
- Remove grass clippings from the lawn
- Increase the acidity of the soil by fertilizing it with substances that contain ammonium sulfate.
The fact is that grass clippings, or mulch, serve as food for earthworms. They begin to actively process the nutrient medium, throwing clumps of soil on the surface. In fact, grass clippings have no place in a decorative, beautiful lawn.
The soil may be rich in humus, and heavy, so you can increase its acidity by introducing a small amount of peat on the lawn. Lime is not welcome in this case.
3. The larvae of the May beetle, mosquitoes, longhorn beetles, and bats
Bees living in the ground and ants building their anthills on the lawn do not pose a great threat. But you should still prevent them, and without rake for grass it`so difficult to do. From time to time comb the lawn with a fan rake and aerating.
If there are a lot of ants and they interfere with the operation of the lawn, it is worth resorting to the help of special powders against ants.
Mosquitoes, beetles, and bats larvae
But the larvae of mosquitoes, beetles, and bats pose a serious threat since they feed on the roots of the plants and lawn grass. The grass turns yellow, dries out, and is pulled out of the ground effortlessly. Yellow spots appear on the lawn where the larvae congregate.
Methods of control
To control the larvae, you can apply a roller, roll the lawn, and some of the larvae will die.
Drainage of the soil and its aeration (regular aeration and scarification of the lawn) are also effective. But if there are a lot of larvae, you should treat the lawn with insecticide.
Larvae and bears are eaten by moles. If you have a net under the lawn, the balance of nature is actually not disturbed – the worm and larvae population is exterminated by the moles without touching or disturbing the surface of the lawn.
4. Birds – are they really lawn pests?
Birds are mainly only a danger to sown seeds and young lawns. They eat freshly planted seeds, dig larvae out of the soil, rip out pieces of turf to build nests, etc.
But birds also feed on larvae, caterpillars, and mites that may be in a lawn area. Therefore, to claim that birds are pests – we can not. They do more good than harm. For birds create feeders, so they do not touch the lawn and other plantings.
If you notice visually that birds are harming the lawn, then you can take action.
Yes, yes, our beloved pets, cats, and dogs can significantly damage a smooth lawn by digging holes or going to the toilet in a decorative area of the lawn. The green carpet becomes covered in spots and gaps. In the place of the waste products of dogs and cats grass burns, turns yellow, dries out, and dies. You can try to save this area by sprinkling plenty of water immediately. But this cannot always be done in time.
Methods of control
There are no lawn grasses that will be resistant to this scourge. If you can not accustom your pet to go to the toilet in a certain place, or in any other place, but not on a flat ornamental lawn, then you will always have to have a packet of seeds for replanting.
These were the main pests of lawns and methods of controlling them. If you still have questions, we would be happy to advise you.
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