A Guide To Garden Pests & Other Threats To Your Texas Lawn
Are you having trouble maintaining a lush, green lawn? Here in Greater Dallas and Fort Worth, your lawn is likely to come up against a wide variety of fungi, weeds, and pests in its lifetime. This resource guide will help you identify the most common lawn threats in our area, as well as provide helpful tips on how to eliminate them from your property.
Fire ants are a small species of ant that no homeowner wants to discover living on their property. These ants are easily agitated and highly aggressive, working together to defend their colony and nest against any animal or person they view as a threat. Fire ants have copper-colored heads and brownish-red bodies. They create large nesting mounds that can be identified by their irregular shape in open, sunny locations – making residential lawns common nesting spots. Their nests are also often found on athletic fields, golf courses, parks, and pastures.
Fire ants are considered a dangerous species of ants for several reasons. Fire ants use their strong mandibles to grab hold of their victim’s skin and inject their venom. These stings are very painful and their venom is strong enough to cause serious allergic reactions in some people; group attacks have the potential to trigger life-threatening anaphylaxis. Fire ants are attracted to electrical equipment and are known to damage air-conditioning units, circuit breakers, and farm equipment. They also have the potential to damage farm crops and houseplants. Additionally, the mounds of dirt at their nest openings are unsightly and can make mowing lawns difficult.
Preventing fire ants is difficult, so doing everything you can to keep them off your property and out of your home is important. Fire ants typically live outside and are attracted to properties that offer them easy access to food. Limit food sources by keeping tight-fitting lids on trash cans and compost bins, keeping outdoor eating areas free of food debris, and picking up pet food between feedings. Place an 18-inch perimeter of crushed rock or stone around the foundation of your home. To ensure these ants don’t find their way into your home, inspect your home’s exterior and roofline and repair any openings found. If you discover fire ants living on your property, immediately seek professional help.
Mosquitoes are a type of biting pests. While many other biting pests like fleas and ticks solely feed on blood, only female mosquitoes feed on blood as they requires the protein in blood to create viable eggs. They use their long, thin proboscises (extended mouthpart) to pierce the skin of animals or people and feed on their blood. The mosquito’s main source of food is plant nectar. In addition to their proboscises, adult mosquitoes can be identified by their slender bodies with long, thin legs and narrow, hairy wings. Their exact color patterns depend on the species, but most mosquitoes are black or brown with white markings on their bodies and/or legs.
Mosquito populations are influenced by environmental conditions, as they thrive in weather that is warm and wet. Mosquitoes are found living in high populations anywhere that there is standing water for females to lay their eggs on and plentiful flowering vegetation to feed from. They are also attracted to properties that offer them shelter and will often take cover during the middle of the day when the weather is at its warmest, hiding along fence lines, in dense vegetation and tall grass, under decks, and under trees.
Mosquitoes have the potential to spread significant diseases to people like encephalitis, West Nile virus, and Zika virus; therefore, limiting the number of mosquitoes living and breeding on your property is very important. The best way to prevent mosquitoes from taking over your property is to get rid of standing water from your property. Fix low-lying areas in your yard and driveway, maintain gutters, and store containers that can collect water upside-down when not in use. Cut back overgrown vegetation on your property, remove piles of debris, and keep the grass cut short to limit resting spots on your property. It is also a good idea to limit the number of flowering plants you have planted on your property, especially those close to your home’s exterior.
A fungus is a primitive organism that lives in the air, in soil, on plants, and in water. Some fungi are beneficial while others are not so, and lawn fungus belongs on the side of not so helpful. Fungus is a common type of lawn disease that homeowners in our area of Texas regularly deal with. Commons signs that your lawn has a fungus problem include brown or yellow patches, leaf spots, mushrooms, slimy patches, thin areas of grass, and white, powdery growths.
Two of the most common types of fungi that affect Texas lawns are fairy ring and brown patch. Fairy ring is a fungus that most often develops on grasses that are highly maintained and can become a problem on any residential lawn, in addition to athletic fields, golf courses, and parks. They are identified by dark green or brown rings that develop on lawns. These rings can be 200ft or more in diameter. Brown patch develops best when daytime temperatures reach above 80 degrees and the nighttime temperatures stay above the mid-’60s. This fungus typically causes thinned, circular patches of grass that are light brown in color and can be several inches or even feet in diameter.
The easiest and most effective way to maintain a healthy, fungus-free lawn is to partner with Addison Green Lawn. We provide customized, seasonal lawn care services to control fungi and keep your lawn healthy, as well as a variety of specialty lawn care services. Things like proper fertilization, irrigation, mowing, and aerating your lawn, in addition to professional lawn care services, can go a long way in preventing problems with fungi and other lawn diseases.
Weeds are plants that should never be allowed to grow and thrive in our yards. Weeds are described as plants that grow where they are not wanted. With weeds, the bad qualities outnumber the good qualities. If steps aren’t taken to control weeds then they can easily take over our yards. Weeds are difficult to control because they typically have high seed production, establish themselves quickly, and spread easily. Also, their seeds can lay dormant for long periods of time until environmental conditions are right for development and growth- making them difficult to control and prevent.
To keep weeds at bay and maintain a lush, green lawn, it is beneficial to partner with a knowledgeable and experienced professional. Here at Addison Green Lawn, our professionals know how to control and eliminate weeds that are common to our area and will provide consistent, regular services. In our area of Texas, the most common weeds we deal with are crabgrass, dallisgrass, and nutsedge. Crabgrass and dallisgrass are often confused with each other but are actually different species of weeds and, therefore, require different treatments. Nutsedge is a perennial weed that is commonly found in Texas lawns.
Addison Green Lawn provides customized, seasonal lawn care services to control weeds and keep your lawn healthy. In addition to our professional services, some things you can do to help prevent weeds include regularly mowing, fertilizing, and overseeding your lawn in the fall. Doing these things allows the lawn to thicken it up and limit the number of space weeds have to grow. To learn more about our comprehensive lawn care and weed control services for homes and businesses, contact Addison Green Lawn today!
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