Monday, July 5, 2010

July - Things to watch out for

Things to Watch Out For in July:

Many people are hyper-allergic to fire ant stings. Several people each year die from fire ant bites as well as many more end up in the hospital. Bait products are best used over your entire yard (beds and lawn areas) and are very inexpensive. Over N Out, although not a bait product, is very effective over a long period of time and should be spread over the entire yard. Other broad spectrum products like Tirade and Lebanon Insect Control will kill fire ants and other pests like the “nasty rascal, the chinch bug”. Landscape & Garden Insecticide (contains Spinosad a synthetic organic) is very good at killing fire ants as well as some other insects.

The “nasty rascal, the chinch bug”, has been bad all spring. I recently talked to a lady who just returned from her summer family vacation to the mountains. She had lost about 70% of her yard to the “nasty rascal, the chinch bug”, in just a seven day period. Products containing Bifen or Lebanon Insect Control will control “nasty rascal, the chinch bug”, fleas, and fire ants.

Fleas have been particularly bad this year as well. The fleas that attack our dogs are actually known as cat fleas! Fleas reproduce at a very rapid rate. A female flea averages 1350 eggs laid in the first 50 days of landing on a host. This is why it is so important to use a growth regulator like Nylar or Precor to control these pests. Nylar is more photo-stable and does not break down in the sunlight like Precor does. This means that you can use it outside as well as inside. Most dogs like to sit in front of a window and watch for squirrels and other invaders in the yard. Using Precor in a place like this will not be as effective as using Ultracide which contains Nylar. Nylar also acts as a growth regulator for roaches. Diatomaceous earth is an organic option.

Gray leaf spot fungus has been attacking St. Augustine grass. The recent afternoon thunderstorms have created a perfect environment for this disease to flourish. This disease likes hot and humid weather, so turn off your irrigation system, mow your St. Augustine lower than normal (2 ½ - 3 inches), mow your grass more often every 3-5 days and pick up your clippings. These cultural practices will help manage the disease by drying off the grass; however, if you need to use a control product, Honor Guard is a great liquid product and Prophesy is a good granular product to use.

Army worms will usually start munching on our grass about mid-July. This worm seems to like Bermuda grass the most; however, they will sometimes attack other grass. Sod webworms that munch on our St. Augustine and Centipede grass usually attack a little later in the year.

Wasps and other stinging insects seem to be out in full force (“The Hose Murderer” got stung Saturday – karma?). Although it can be entertaining to blast them out of the air from 20 feet with Wasp Freeze, you will have much better success if you can locate their nest, wait until late in the afternoon when they all come home, then treat with Delta Dust or some other control product and nail them all at one time.

Always read, understand, and follow product label or hire a professional.