Do you struggle with an infestation of pests in your lawn? While many homeowners may turn to pesticides or even removing part of the grass to deal with unwanted bugs, you might be able to solve the problem with some alterations to lawn maintenance instead. How can lawn care drive away the critters? Here are a few key steps to take.
1. Fertilize. Fertilizer helps keep plants healthy and thriving. And healthy plants can survive damage better than unhealthy ones. These plants will have better reserves and deeper root structures to withstand munching by pests. Follow the best practices for fertilizing your particular grass and soil type based on recommendations from a lawn care professional.
2. Avoid Thatch. Thatch is the dead layer of grass debris that can build up between healthy blades and the soil underneath. Thatch contributes to pest control problems in two ways. First, it robs grass of nutrients, water penetration, and airflow, making it less healthy and more susceptible. Second, it provides a home that encourages insects to move in. Remove thatch if more than about 1/2 inch thickness.
3. Encourage Predators. Whatever type of pest is a problem in your area, consider natural repellent in the form of other animals and insects. Birds and small mammals like to dig out grubs, for instance. Both ladybugs and wasps like to eat aphids. And varieties of beetles often feed on pesky caterpillars. Make your yard more amenable to these natural insect controllers.
4. Check Your Water. How evenly and appropriately is water reaching all areas of the lawn? Spots that become over-watered or fail to drain well develop mold and fungus, which in turn attracts its own insect problems. And areas that aren't receiving enough water allow the lawn to become unhealthy and unable to withstand pest damage.
5. Aerate. Because good soil and healthy grass roots contributes to overall stability, don't overlook semi-annual aeration. Aerating involves removing small plugs of soil so that air can penetrate deeper into the ground. It prevents soil from compacting too much and breaks up underground insect populations. Make aeration a part of your seasonal care cycle.
A healthy lawn, natural predators, and proper water conditions all work together to help keep pests at bay. Want to know more about battle a particular infestation or caring for your grass species? Start by consulting with a landscape maintenance service like Quality Lawncare & Landscaping in your area.