They bite, sting, infect, and destroy. Left unchecked, they can ravage everything in their path. Leaving the safety of one’s home is to venture into occupied territory. It’s a jungle out there. |
More commonly, that jungle is known as “the lawn.”
Few things can drive a homeowner to the brink of insanity more quickly than lawn pests. Ants, fleas, chiggers, and ticks thrive in the average lawn. They may cause incessant itching and scratching, or pass along parasitical ailments such as Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Aphids feast upon small trees and plants, while armyworms, cutworms, and grubs can turn that lovely, green expanse into a nightmarish landscape of brown dirt. The larger pests, moles for instance, will cause carefully tended turf to resemble a minefield.
However, there are some very effective methods for dealing with lawn pests. Dependent upon one’s environmental stance, and level of irritation, one may select from a variety of solutions. The homeowner can attempt to dissuade lawn pests by organic methods, resort to traps and poison, or kill the entire insect population with a broad-spectrum insecticide.
Those wishing to remove lawn pests can choose the do-it-yourself method, or hire a professional exterminator. The latter will generally be the most expensive option, but the homeowner will be saved the task of identifying the problem, purchasing applicators and products, and carefully reading labels. For the well-being of adults, children, and pets, reading the labels is of utmost importance. Most insecticides will do their job, kill the lawn pests, and then dissipate. However, one must be acutely aware of time frames and safety issues.
A professional exterminator knows these facts by heart. The average homeowner must study and learn. The professional exterminator is also aware of laws and ordinances regarding insecticide use. Regulations and restrictions vary by country, state, county, and even city or town. If one does decide to personally handle removal, it is a good idea to first call the local agricultural extension service for advice.
The first step lies in determining what pests are present. However, most people simply opt to destroy the entire population and be done with it. Chemical insecticides are available in liquid, powder, or granular form, and will typically kill all insects in a yard. Depending upon the season and the region, re-application will be required several times during spring and summer.
When trying to dispense with fleas, ticks, ants, and mosquitoes, two of the most common and effective chemical insecticides go by the names of Sevin and Dursban. These are toxic chemicals, and one should read all warnings and directions before commencing application. Pyrethrin, a derivative of a type of chrysanthemum, is known to be a very effective agent against lawn pests such as grubs and worms. However, it is also toxic, and all suggestions for use should be followed to the letter.
For those averse to chemical warfare against lawn pests, there are alternatives. Bugs and lawn pests do not subsist entirely on grass, roots, flowers, and trees. They also eat other bugs. Possibly the two most effective allies against harmful pests are the Lady Bug and the Praying Mantis. These helpful insects can be purchased at larger home and garden centers, or by mail order.
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