Category Archives: Bugs

3 Steps to Getting Rid of Those Weeds

Crabgrass! Dandelions! Chickweed! Oh my!  Without prevention and proper control, weeds can germinate and spread very quickly.  The best way to prevent weeds in the first place is to grow a thick, healthy lawn, which will crowd out and block weeds and weed seeds from getting access to your lawn’s nutrients and even the sun.  But, once weeds have taken hold, they can be difficult to rid from your yard. Luckily, though, there are a few relatively simple things you can do to prevent those pesky weeds from ruining your beautiful lawn.  We’ve included our recommended approach–the weed-eliminating trilogy–below. Just remember, like lawn care in general, getting rid of weeds is a marathon, not a sprint!

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions–we’re here to help!

STEP 1:  PULL, PULL, PULL!

Many types of weeds (like crabgrass, chickweed, etc.) can be hand-pulled relatively easily, so it’s definitely worth trying to make a dent manually.  Earlier in the season is usually better, as the weed roots are still relatively shallow. Similarly, hand-pulling when the soil is moist is usually most effective.

STEP 2:  SPOT, SPOT, SPOT!

Once you’ve taken a few passes through your yard hand-pulling as many weeds as you can, you may want to use a targeted spot treatment for weeds.  These usually come in a spray bottle, or jug with a wand attached.

Spot treatment is usually most effective when you can target the center/base of the weed, as well as the major weed leaves.  When applying spot treatment, it should not harm the lawn, but you should try to avoid overspraying your weeds anyway–you’ll use less product overall, and your grass will be under less stress!

STEP 3:  PREVENT, PREVENT, PREVENT!

The Spring and Fall are key times for getting ahead of weed growth.  Once weeds become more mature during the summer, your grass is often too stressed to be able to fight back!  So, don’t forget your pre-emergent weed preventer in the Spring, and if you’re not planning to overseed in the Fall, you may choose to apply another round of pre-emergent.  

But, don’t forget that growing a healthy lawn is the best prevention there is! So, don’t forget to mow a little higher, water your lawn at least once a week, and take the time to walk through your lawn each week to spot potential weed germination and other lawn stresses before they start to spread!

Common Lawn Bugs That May Be Hurting Your Lawn: See Any of These? Let’s Chat! (Part 1)

Contrary to popular belief, not all bugs are bad bugs!  In fact, there are TONS of beneficial insects for your lawn.  Healthy lawns are actually packed with a wide variety of insects–those that you can see, and many that you never will.  These insects serve as tiny little grass protectors, helping to fend off invasive and damaging pests, and promoting a living, breathing lawn ecosystem.


But, there are several types of insects that, if left uncontrolled, may cause significant damage to your beautiful grass.  We’ve shown some of these below, and provided some tips on how to identify these, but as always, feel free to reach out if you suspect certain insects are harming your grass.

Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs typically like hot, dry conditions, basically using your grass as tiny little water taps.  As they rob your grass of its valuable moisture in the summer heat, large brown patches–often with clear “boundaries”–will quickly emerge as the grass dies off.  Chinch bugs reproduce very quickly, and in very large numbers, so acting quickly is very important!

Treating grubs in lawn

Grubs

Grubs are one of the more easily-identified lawn pests due to their distinct white, curled-up appearance (like a letter “C”).  But, grubs are actually the larval form of several different beetles, including Japanese beetles, “June” beetles, and chafer beetles.

When grubs are active in your lawn, you can usually find them a few inches down into the soil, right where your grass’ roots are.  In fact, that’s where they love to be–grubs love to eat grass roots! Although grubs are typically inactive during the winter months, younger grubs have a big appetite during the Summer and Fall months, where they do the most damage (grubs will feed in the Spring when they “wake up”, but typically much of the damage done is seen in the Fall).

Some of the symptoms of grub activity?  Spongy soil, random dead/brown patches that do not green up, and birds/skunks/moles digging into your lawn (looking for snacks!).  One way to confirm you have grubs is to pull back a section of your grass. If it peels up like carpet and/or you see numerous small/white grubs underneath, you may need to treat for grubs.  Typically, fewer than ~5 grubs per square foot is not a problem for healthy lawns, but more than 6-10 per square foot could result in significant damage over time.

Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 of this blog series for additional bug identification, as well as tips and tricks for getting rid of unwanted pests!

Treat Bugs in lawn