The Ultimate Guide To Lawn Pest Control For Katy Property Owners
A lush, green lawn is the dream of every homeowner in Katy, and many factors make that a challenge, including high temperatures, excessive rain or drought conditions, and lawn pests. While there isn’t much you can do about the weather, lawn pests are manageable with the right tools and knowledge. This guide will explain more about lawn pest control in Katy to help you achieve the beautiful lawn you’ve always wanted.
We’ll start by detailing the signs to watch for that can indicate a lawn pest problem. Conditions like brown patches or yellowing leaves on plants are often attributed to weather or over/under watering. However, lawn pests frequently cause these problems, so we’ll help you learn what to look for.
Next, we’ll describe the many pests that create problems for Katy lawns. A wide range of pests cause various issues, and learning more about each can help you catch a problem early. The sooner you can detect and treat lawn pests, the less damage they will be able to cause.
Many species of lawn pests thrive in hot weather like we’ve been having, but they are not inevitable. We’ll provide you with proactive prevention tips to protect your lawn and landscape so you can avoid attracting them in the first place.
Whether you are already experiencing a pest problem on your property or looking to prevent one, the pros at Modern Pest Control are here to help. Our pest management professionals can help you keep your lawn pest-free year-round. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule your free inspection.
Signs You May Have A Lawn Pest Problem
The signs of a pest problem depend a lot on the type of pest you have. Some insects can cause yellowing leaves on foliage, twisted leaves, and stunted growth. Insects that produce honeydew, a sticky, sugary waste product, can attract other pests like ants compounding the problem.
Some pests consume the roots of grass, while others go directly for young plants or ornamentals. Damage to plants and turf may start small and be barely noticeable, but the longer the pests are there, the more they multiply and the worse the problems become.
Another clear sign of insects is the presence of wild animals and birds. You might notice holes in the lawn or see critters like skunks or raccoons digging for an insect meal. Large patches of grass that you can easily lift also indicate a problem below the surface.
One of the most easily noticeable signs of pests is patches of dying grass across the lawn. You might see yellowing or thinning areas to start and, eventually, irregularly shaped brown dead patches, indicating insects feeding at the roots.
Brown patches are one of the most likely issues to be misdiagnosed by homeowners. Drought conditions can appear very similar to pest problems, as can the common “brown patch” disease. If you have trouble determining what is causing the situation on your lawn or need assistance with lawn pest control, contact us today at Modern Pest Control.
The Many Pests That Can Damage The Health Of Your Lawn
The damage you see depends on the pest species causing the problem. We’ll briefly detail how to identify the different types of lawn pests you might find on your property and then further describe the damage each can cause below:
- Aphids: These soft-bodied pear-shaped insects have what looks to be two tailpipes coming out their hind end.
- Armyworm: Larvae are dark greenish brown to black with dark heads, and adult moths have a 1 1/2 of an inch wide wingspan and are tan to light brown.
- Chinch bugs: Adult chinch bugs are 1/5 of an inch long and black with white wings, and nymphs are wingless and sometimes have red or orange markings.
- Cutworms: Larvae are dingy grayish black with smooth skin, and adult moths are gray or brownish with one to two-inch wingspans.
- Scale: These resemble little pearls that are whitish to purple, rounded, hard, and somewhat iridescent.
- Sod webworms: The caterpillars are translucent green with dark spots, and adult moths are dingy brown with a 3/4 of an inch wingspan.
- White grubs: These creamy white, c-shaped pests have three pairs of legs and grow between 1/2 and 1 inch long.
Aphids feed on the sap of plants, generally on flower buds, new growth, the underside of young leaves, or developing roots, bark, and twigs. A severe aphid problem will cause yellow foliage, stunted growth, and twisted or curling leaves. After they feed, the shiny waste product they produce is called honeydew.
Often aphids don’t cause much damage unless there is a large infestation. But their sweet honeydew will attract ants, yellow jackets, and other insects, especially this time of year. Honeydew also causes sooty mold to grow, which creates fuzzy dark fungus splotches on leaves.
Armyworm larvae strip foliage as they feed and then quickly move on to the next plant. They will eat just about any vegetation and travel together in large populations that march side to side, hence the name armyworm. Females lay, on average, 1500 eggs which grow into larvae that eat the foliage, clip the leaves, and can cause extensive defoliation.
Chinch bugs create patches of dying grass that people often assume is drought damage or brown patch disease. Brown patch is typically circular or semi-circular, while chinch bug patches tend to have an irregular shape. The simplest way to diagnose the problem is to look for the insects or seek assistance from a lawn pest control company.
Various species of cutworms prefer different parts of the plant. Subterranean cutworms feed below the surface and damage roots, while tunnel cutworms cut young plants at the surface and pull them down into tunnels to eat the plant. Surface feeders will cut and eat young plants or go after the leaves of older plants while climbing cutworms will climb to eat the foliage and flower buds.
Scales injure plants by sucking large amounts of sap out of them. These pests also produce honeydew that causes sooty mold, like the aphids. Scales also produce a white-cottony wax that covers the base of the grass resulting in yield loss and death.
With sod webworms, grass initially appears ragged and notched as they eat at the leaves. Turf damage is initially spotty but quickly enlarges as the caterpillars grow and search for more food. Seeing low-flying moths around the lawn can indicate a severe infestation of sod webworms.
White grubs also cause irregularly shaped patches of damage with weak, dying grass. Grubs damage the roots causing the lawn to be more vulnerable to weeds and grass that you can easily pull from the soil due to the weakened root system. White grubs may be the culprit if your lawn consistently dies out in the late summer.
If you have trouble determining what pest is causing damage, the pros at Modern Pest Control are here to help. Proper pest identification is necessary to decide on the best course of action for treatment. Contact us today with any questions about our lawn pest control services or to schedule your free inspection.
Proactive Tips For Preventing Lawn Pests
The best way to prevent lawn pests is to maintain a healthy lawn. Grass that is already stressed is more susceptible to insects and their damage. Here are some proactive tips you can start with for preventative pest control for your lawn with details below:
- Mow the grass frequently.
- Water appropriately.
- Remove leaves and debris.
- Dethatch the lawn.
- Regularly weed the lawn.
- Aerate and fertilize the lawn.
Proper grass height depends on the grass type, but in most cases, it is best to set the mower to achieve a length of two to three inches. Cutting too short stresses the grass leaving it vulnerable to pests, and letting it get too long will attract some species. It is a good idea first to determine the type of grass you have to ensure you maintain it correctly.
Over-watering the lawn can cause more damage than underwatering. Over-watering can create a shallow root system, making it more susceptible to insects. Watering in the morning allows the grass time to dry throughout the day.
Sticks, twigs, and leaves can create harborage sites for insects. Debris also blocks the grass from getting necessary sunshine and water. Regularly raking up debris can also help decrease the number of weeds you have, reducing the chances of a pest problem.
Thick thatch prevents the soil from getting necessary water, air, and sunlight, which reduces root growth. Thatch can increase the chances of problematic insects like sod webworms and chinch bugs. There are many methods to dethatch, but whichever you choose, it is best to keep a thin thatch layer of about half an inch.
Weeding your lawn can help you achieve healthier grass that is less susceptible to insects. Some weeds, like mustard and sow thistle, can attract and support large populations of aphids. Invasive weeds can also cause considerable lawn damage if you don’t control them.
Aerating your lawn allows it to absorb more nutrients and gives the roots more oxygen and room to grow. Aeration also allows the fertilizer to penetrate and reach the roots. Southern lawns typically have warm-season grasses, so it is best to aerate in the late spring or early summer.
Preventing problematic pests is more manageable than eliminating them after the fact, primarily because many species reproduce rapidly and can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Modern Pest Control can help protect your property with preventative lpest control services in Katy. Contact us today to learn more about how our services can prevent troublesome pests and help you keep your lawn healthy and beautiful.
Contact Us For Total Lawn Pest Control
Summer often sends us running to escape the heat into climate-controlled houses, but this is prime time for insects, and it is a good idea to check the yard for any signs of pests periodically. Insects such as ladybugs are not cause for concern and are beneficial as they are natural predators of many lawn pests, including aphids. If you see problematic pests or have trouble with identification, our pest management professionals are here to help.
If you notice any small areas of damage, contact us at the first signs to diagnose the problem before the pests can spread. Excessive or improper use of fertilizers, pesticides, or weed killers can cause damage similar to insects, so it helps to have a professional check for pests and accurately diagnose the issue.
We suggest you avoid trying to treat the pests on your own. Many over-the-counter products can worsen problems if you don’t use them correctly, and treatment also depends on the life cycle stage the insect is in. Various stages, from immature to adult, will require different actions.
The pros at Modern Pest Control utilize Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies whenever possible. IPM combines several common-sense practices to find the safest way to treat pests with minimal environmental impact. An important part of IPM is preventative, helping you to avoid attracting pests in the first place and removing any conditions that may harbor insects.
We understand that each property and each homeowner is different, and we strive to work with you through open communication to develop a plan that works best for you and your lawn. Early detection of lawn pests is the best way to avoid extensive damage, and our pest management professionals know how to check for signs of pests that you may overlook.
Modern Pest Control offers lawn pest control near you to help protect your lawn from problematic insects and eliminate them if necessary. We have been proudly helping our neighbors protect their properties and homes from troublesome pests for over 70 years. Contact us today to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Katy or to schedule your free inspection, so we can help you keep your lawn healthy, strong, and safe from pest damage.