Caterpillars

Image result for caterpillar damage on big trees

<—  Trees look like this??

If you remember the incredibly popularized caterpillar that was always known for its sensational hunger, then it is no surprise that the creatures you find eating the leaves off your tree are just as hungry as their ancestor. Caterpillars are becoming quite an issue these days, and learning what to do about them is an important step to be taking… so good job!

Caterpillars are the larvae of both moths and butterflies; the variety of different caterpillars out there also leads to a variety of different pest levels.

– – Some caterpillars can eat an entire plant’s leaves in one night!! – -, Image result for caterpillars in new englandwhile others may work at a slower pace. No matter how quickly they can scarf down a tree though, all caterpillars will be gnawing on some sort of plant in order to work towards their prestigious butterfly figures. As harmless to you as caterpillars can be, the harm they do to your plants is another story. There are many organic ways that can help, as well as some chemical ones as well. It truly depends on whatever method suits your fancy. I’ll give you some examples for you to work with.

First thing first, simply handpicking any caterpillars you find chomping on your plants and relocating them will help do the trick. It has been said that dropping them into some soapy water would do the job of killing them, too (if relocating isn’t your thing).

If handpicking them seems a little to flashy for you, there are other certain oils and powders that can also work towards a plush and voluptuous yard. There is neem oil, which can be sprayed on plants in order to control caterpillars. This is a natural vegetable oil that will not do the damage that occurs with other chemical treatments. These oils are dormant oils, meaning they will smother the eggs before hatching. This treatment is time sensitive and needs to be done early in the spring. Here is a video of spraying dormant oil over hemlocks (we are targeting woolly adelgid here and not caterpillars, but the process is the same). There is also a powder available called bacillus thuringiensis, which is a natural bacterium that will also keep the caterpillars at bay.

For a sneaky trick under your sleeve that could repel caterpillars all together, plant a variety of herbs and flowers around your landscape. Scents like lavender, sage, and peppermint are disliked by many insects, including caterpillars.

Another method involves bringing in the birds and letting the natural swing of the food pyramid do its work. Birds and caterpillars are a natural predator – prey relationship and with simply setting up a bird feeder or a bird bath, you should start seeing results eventually.

Of course, all these methods are also followed by the chemical sprays and treatments that can be done to get rid of hungry, hungry caterpillars quickly and efficiently. Whatever method you prefer is entirely your choice. As long as your trees stay full and thick with their leaves, then the winner will be you! It’s now up to you to decide which path to follow. Good luck on your journey.

www.greatcarelawnservice.com

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Weeds; Clover and sedge grass

Clover

Clover is one that youImage result for lawn clover may not be able to picture right away, so close your eyes and simply imagine a small flower that has multiplied by 1000 (maybe) and completely speckled your lawn. Those are clovers. Most lawns have these weeds, and they really don’t do any harm besides some visual upset. These are more commonly found in white, so they tend to stand out in the average lawn.

Because these don’t do any harm, there really is no consequence of ignoring them. However, if you really don’t like to look at clovers flooding your lawn, there are things that you could do to control them. There are fertilizer applications that can help prevent clovers. If you’d rather go a product-less route, though, simply setting your lawn mower blade to three inches or higher will keep shade over areas that would normally provide sunlight for these clovers. Mowing also mows off seed heads, which will help prevent further distribution of the clover seeds.

NutsedgeImage result for nutsedge

Probably the least commonly-known among the four mentioned, nutsedge is a grass-like weed with a spiky head of purple or yellow. Nutsedges grow quickly and are lighter than grass, so they will stick out greatly in your lawn. These are tough weeds to control because they grow from tubers that form on roots that can get up to 14 inches deep. If you pull out the roots, the tubers can still stay behind and end up growing more. How frustrating is that?

To control these, changing the way you mow could help tremendously. Just like clover, mowing higher will help crowd out nutsedge. There are also ways such as removing the plants before they develop tubers, this is usually before they have five to six leaves. You can also reduce the amount of weeds by drying, shading, and using herbicides on the area. Tubers, though, are the key. Along the lines of these, if you find nutsedge, dig out the patch down to at least eight inches deep, refill, and then seed or sod the patch.

Hopefully you have learned a little about the different types of weeds that can pop up and the different ways to control each one. Weeds don’t have to be an upsetting topic of conversation. Soon, controlling weeds will become one of your bragging points and will impress even the most professional lawn care individuals.

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Weeds, dandelions and crabgrass

Let’s be honest, talking about weeds gets your blood boiling just a little. Preventing and controlling weeds are possibly the most frustrating aspects of lawn care. Finding your strength and willpower being challenged by the strength and willpower of a plant can make your frustration peak to the point of complete helplessness. Weeds don’t need to win, though. Let’s talk about four specific weeds and ways that you can overcome their seemingly indestructible selves.

DandelionsImage result for dandelion

These will probably be the weed that you are most familiar with. Dandelions are incredibly common, as well as incredibly noticeable. They start with a bright yellow top and slowly transition into a fragile, white puffball that loses its seeds with a slight blow of the wind. These weeds appear seemingly out of nowhere in the early spring and continue to grow at an alarming rate. Dandelions can have roots up to three feet deep. Whoa, right?

These weeds are pesky, and of course the best course of action to take with them is to do whatever you can to prevent them. This involves having and maintaining a thick and healthy lawn, if it’s mowed routinely then the weed won’t be able to mature and create even more of a problem for you. If it does mature, the seeds spread from the puffball will end up creating more dandelions the next year.

For other treatment options, chemicals are incredibly effective. Products such as roundup – glyphosate – are very effective, but will also kill any and all things in the yard. If you choose to go the chemical route it is suggested to only use it in beds, walks, or driveways rather than the entire lawn. Spray the weeds when they have sprouted and before they mature. There are also options such as crabgrass control or pre-emergent that can be applied in early spring to help reduce the amount of dandelions. Dandelions in the lawn will need a broadleaf, selective weed control which is incredibly effective.

CrabgrassImage result for crabgrass

There are the crabs of the ocean and the crabgrass of our lawns, and each are equally upsetting. Crabgrass, though, can be controlled. Crabgrass is that weed that has a center root low across the ground with leaves sprawled all around. This weed will first appear around mid-spring, but it is especially prevalent during the summer due to how well it thrives in hot, dry conditions. They’ll die in the fall, but before they pass they’ll make sure to spread thousands of seeds across your lawn just waiting to pop up the next year.

The key to crabgrass control is to stop the spread of these little seeds. Preventing the germination will help prevent crabgrass, which will in turn help make your lawn look quite flawless. To stop the seeds, there are multiple different techniques. Just like dandelions, and just like many other lawn imperfections that come about, a healthy lawn will greatly help prevention. There are also other things such as pre-emergent that will work to kill seedlings as they germinate. However, pre-emergent won’t help if the crabgrass has already sprung up. For crabgrass already there, then post-emergent will be useful to control their spread of seeds. Just make sure to not apply too much herbicide. (If your lawn is browning, that’s a good sign you have.) To prevent death of your lawn just make sure to water the area extensively.

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Fleas, Ticks and Mosquitos

Okay, picture spending a beautiful day in your back yard with your friends and family. Now, picture constantly having to be making sure ticks aren’t crawling on anyone… or maybe picture constantly having to swat mosquitoes away from you and your friends. The picture started to not look very fun, right? That’s right, because ticks and mosquitoes are not fun.Image result for ticks

They’re more than just annoying bugs, though. Ticks and mosquitoes are also common carriers of diseases such as Lyme disease, eastern equine encephalitis, and west Nile virus. These diseases can all be fatal if not caught early enough. Which simply gives even more reason for not wanting ticks and mosquitoes surrounding your property.

Both these insects thrive in the same habitats, and they won’t be hiding in the nicely-kept areas of your lawn. They usually can be seen under and around the foundation of the house or deck, swing sets, sheds, or simply any leaf or branch pile you could have.

Image result for fleasThese unkept areas of your lawn could be the thriving home base for ticks and mosquitoes everywhere, but there are some things that can be done to reclaim your home. We have applications that safely and effectively kill ticks while at the same time drastically reducing the mosquito population. The treatment could be as little as $50, and a couple hours after it has been applied, you won’t have to be worrying about ticks or mosquitoes. Your kids or pets or family or friends could wander and have fun without feeling a tick crawling up their leg or hitting mosquitoes away from their arms.

The application is a liquid spray that is dispersed where ticks and mosquitoes live. It is odorless with no visible residue and each application dispersed lasts up to two months. Along with your scheduled lawn care visits, we suggest that you add this application five times a year for consistent protection from mosquitoes and ticks all season long. Each property is unique though, so we will perform individual analyses to do the best we can for your lawn. If your lawn is more or less hospitable for insects, we can work to figure out how many treatments are truly necessary to keep the bugs away. If your property does need more than the recommended 5 sprays, than we can lower the price per treatment. It’s up to you though, we can spray it as often or as little as you would like.

This application loses its potency as time goes on, and mosquitoes may come back quicker than ticks. However, this application is truly responsible for some drastic differences in yards and their tick and mosquito populations. If you want to rid your lawn of these biting, blood-sucking insects then call our office and we can work together to understand the price and what program best fits your property. Once that’s over, picture spending a beautiful day in your back yard with your family and friends. The end.

 

www.greatcarelawnservice.com