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Summertime Lawn Threats

Fire Ant Control

We work hard all year long to keep our lawns healthy and attractive. One of the main reasons is so our families and friends can spend time outdoors enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, we’re not the only ones that think summer is the perfect time to appreciate a beautiful yard. Dangerous pests are also at the peak during the hottest season. Here are some of the most common threats in our region and suggestions for dealing with them.

Aphids

These bugs are so small that you’ll almost certainly see the damage they cause before you see them. The first sign is often flowers, leaves, or stems that are growing in unusual twisted shapes. Another clue is honeydew, the sticky secretion they leave behind that gradually turns black. They generally appear in large groups, so once you do notice them, you’re likely to start seeing them everywhere.

However, even significant crowds of them rank relatively low in terms of potential destructiveness. Also, they’re a favorite menu item for ladybug and other beneficial insects that you want to have visiting your yard. Still, you may find their sheer numbers unsettling. You can disrupt their activities with a few well-aimed jets from a hose. If you decide you want to eliminate them entirely, you’ll want to consult with a lawn care company like Arbor-Nomics.

Armyworms

These worms arrive with appetites that can tear through an entire garden in a surprisingly short time. Fortunately, birds are equally hungry for armyworms; in fact, a growing number of winged visitors to your yard may be among the first signs that you’re experiencing an armyworm invasion.
Depending on the size of the infestation, birds may handle the problem for you. If not, you can fight back by picking them up individually and rehoming them in a container of soapy water. Many people tire of this before they’ve resolved the problem, though, so, your best bet may be a lawn service company. The Silver Plus, Gold Plus, and Platinum programs offered by Arbor-Nomics include two preventative treatments for armyworms.

Fire Ants

As best we can tell, fire ants are born in a bad mood that only gets worse over time. If anything disturbs one of their distinctive mounds, they’re quick to defend it with stings that are intensely painful at first and subside into extreme itchiness. Serious incidents are rare, but they do occur, and people who are allergic to their venom are particularly vulnerable. In large enough groups, fire ants can kill a large animal or an adult human—attacks kill about a dozen Americans every year.

There are many different species of fire ants that vary in size and appearance, so it’s not always easy to identify them by sight. One thing they all have in common is their extreme resistance to attempts to get rid of them. Most of us are familiar with folk remedies that various people swear by, but in reality these approaches generally just result in one mound being abandoned and another one being built nearby. (The mounds are formed from the dirt displaced by the creation of tunnel networks underground, which are so large that it’s almost impossible to wipe out an entire colony from above ground.) Some common treatments are actually dangerous and may even poison soil. If you’ve got a fire ant problem, lawn careprofessionals are by far your best option to tackle it safely.

If you have questions about fire ants, armyworms, aphids, or any other threats to your lawn, Arbor-Nomics can answer them. In addition to pest control, we provide weed controllawn fertilization, and much more. Our Certified Landscape Specialists are ready to help with all of your lawn service needs.