It’s September in Pensacola, and while many of our local outdoor events may have been canceled, the weather is still great, and there is still plenty of time to be outside. Don’t allow Florida insects to wreak havoc on your lawn. Keep your outdoor oasis well-maintained as long as the weather permits. Learn to identify the most common of these obnoxious pests and how to go about preventing them.
These feisty little creatures can damage turf, pasture grasses, crops, and gardens. They like all kinds of grasses, including cool and warm-season turfs. Like the mole, they use their front digging claws to tunnel under the surface of your soil in search of larvae, small worms, and other insects they consider food. As they do this, they can cause tremendous damage to your roots. They love yards with excessive thatch, grass clippings, and other organic material that lie on your grass base, so keeping your yard properly aerated can help control mole crickets.
Who knew such a tiny creature could do so much damage? At only 3.5mm grown, chinch bugs are black with white wings folded over their body and contain two small black spots on their wings. They mostly invade the blades of St. Augustine grasses just below thick layers of thatch. They suck out the sap and inject a toxic poison that blocks water from getting into the grass blades. Your grass will first start to turn yellow, then brown, eventually die. The chinch bugs move on to the next blades of grass, working outward, creating larger and larger patches of dead grass. To control the invasion of chinch bugs, keep your yard properly dethatched and have it adequately aerated.
Like the chinch bug, billbugs feed on the roots of your grass blades, but they also eat the stems and leaves. They, too, live under the thatch on your grass, but their turf of choice is Bermudagrass and zoysia. Billbug damage presents itself in July or August, with discolored grass and brown patches. Because they also like to live in the layer of thatch that builds up on your turf, it is a good idea to keep thatch under control and have your lawn properly aerated.
The type of fire ants that we see here in Pensacola, Florida, are not native. They aren’t native to the U.S. at all. Fire ants came from the jungles of South America and hitched a ride here sometime in the 1930s. They found the climate here similar to that of their native home, and with no natural predators to stop them, they quickly established themselves in the sunshine state. If you’ve ever been bitten by one, you understand how these ferocious insects received their name. Fire ants are very aggressive and will attack anything that disturbs their nests, including playing children and curious pets. They can also wreak havoc on your yard. Swarming in a group of thousands at a time, by their queen’s order, they feed on the roots of your grass and plants and build large mounds that can smother your grass.
Fire ants are hard to control, and while there are dozens of home remedies out there, your ultimate goal should be to kill the queen. As long as the queen lives, the colony will rebuild and repopulate. It’s best to call in the professionals.
Protect Your Pensacola Residence With Lawn Master’s Insect and Pest Control
As a local, family-owned company, Lawn Master understands the different types of grass and pests that live and wreak havoc on the residential and commercial lawns in our area. As part of our insect and pest management services, we offer a free evaluation of your yard. We will then devise a plan of proper treatment for elimination, control, and prevention. Managing pests like fire ants and mole crickets help keep your family safe, enjoy the outdoors, and remain worry-free.