A well-maintained ornamental lawn makes a nice addition to a garden or city park. The history of creating a natural landscape goes back to antiquity. Nowadays, an emerald lawn needs real care, requiring the attention and labor of its owner. A picturesque lawn often suffers from attacks by various pests dealing irreparable damage. To avoid damage to roots of plants and trees and loss of lawn decorativeness, one should protect one’s lawns from mammals, birds, insects, and worms.
The Most Dangerous Lawn Pests
There are few effective measures against pests. One should consider them before planting the grass. Methods of controlling pests are varied and depend on the damage one wishes to avoid.
Moles, which live under the lawn, dig their underground catacombs in the dark at night and throw the remaining soil upstairs. As a result, a formerly graceful lawn is covered with many dark mounds, reminiscent of the lunar surface, and grooves in the place of the failed passages. The grass over the underground mazes dries out, its roots damaged. Blind diggers like loose, sandy soils best and prefer lawns untouched by human feet.
People have come up with a lot of ways to get rid of moles living under their lawns:
- they poisoned moles with smoke;
- they poured different solutions into their holes;
- they set traps and ultrasonic devices.
But the result was dubious: the clever animals quickly escaped any threat via their passages.
Nocturnal inhabitants are attracted by the abundance of worms in the ground, serving as food. The extermination of worms helps to deal with moles. The periodic treatment of your lawn with a mower or trimmer helps expel moles: the animals are irritated by the motor’s crackling and the soil’s vibration.
Earthworms, considered the most common lawn pests, barely do any damage to lawns. On the contrary, they drain the soil by digging their passages. It is their waste products that cause damage. Under piles of soil thrown out by them, the grass dies, and weeds begin to grow in its place. In addition, the worm-infested area attracts moles — for them, worms are a favorite delicacy.
While earthworms don’t eat too much grass, you might want to use special types of grass offered by companies like TurfGrass Group to avoid damage to your lawn. Here are other ways to fight earthworms:
- increase the acidity of the soil;
- treat the soil with peat every year;
- use a fertilizer with ammonium sulfate;
- remove grass clippings from the lawn, which the worms feed on;
- level out soil spills that have appeared on the lawn.
Opinions about these insects are conflicting. Many consider them useful for improving soil quality with phosphorus and potassium and destroying caterpillars, but many people don’t agree with that. Ants, which are most active in the summer, damage the appearance of the lawn: they damage the roots of grass and attract aphids, the destroyers of greenery, to the lawn.
Anthills found on your lawn must be immediately leveled and treated with a special insecticide, and if there are many mounds, you should dig them and pour the insecticide there. Ants do not like harsh smells: the insects will be frightened away by wormwood, parsley, anise, and garlic growing nearby. Various kinds of traps are effective against these pests.
Most often, they are house mice, voles, or shrews. They dig in the ground, creating burrows up to 40 cm deep, with several exits. These pests multiply quickly and carry many kinds of infections.
If you have mice on your lawn, you should fight them with special rodenticide baits. This method of control carries little harm to the environment. If you use it, however, ensure that the baits don’t harm your pets.
Lawn pests can be a serious problem for owners of well-maintained areas and landscapers responsible for the appearance of recreation areas. It is possible to solve the challenges of lawn care and pest control with the help of experts in the field. You can also do that yourself if you’re persistent enough.