March's Gainesville Lawn Pest: Magnolia Scale

Magnolia scale is extremely prevalent among all types of Magnolia trees - the Little Gem, Tiny Bear, Southern Magnolia, and even the Japanese Magnolia. There is no specific season they are more common, although they do go dormant in the winter. Having a Magnolia tree in your Gainesville lawn almost assures at some point an infestation of scale - however, a good Ornamental Pest Control plan will keep this from happening.

How to remove Bermuda from my St. Augustine lawn?

Are you frustrated with Bermuda taking over your lush St. Augustine lawn? Unfortunately, there are only two options to deal with it. Before I get into solutions, let me explain how Bermuda works. It is very invasive and spreads via seed (when mowed) and runner (underground root system). It is in the grass family, so any herbicide that kills it will also kill St. Augustine grass - which is why it creates such a hassle for Gainesville lawns.

Is Gainesville Lawn Aeration really important?

In order to achieve and maintain a beautiful Gainesville lawn, you should employ the basics first - mowing at the proper height, irrigation, and protecting it with a lawn fertilization program. It is also important to ensure that nutrients can reach the soil beneath your grass. Aeration can be an extremely vital element to a healthy lawn because it allows fertilization, air, and water to penetrate the top layer of thatch and soil in your yard.

February's Gainesville Lawn Pest: Large Patch Fungus

This lawn disease can affect all turf - but primarily is found in St. Augustine and Zoysia lawns. In our North Central Florida market, it is especially rampant in early spring and late fall. It typically starts off as small patches that turn yellow and then brown, in a noticeably round pattern. Patches can expand to several feet in diameter as the disease grows, and it is not uncommon to see green healthy turf in the center of the circle.

Gainesville Lawn Pest of the Month: Large Patch Fungus

In your Gainesville lawn as fall comes into town, your grass may begin showing brown circular spots that seem to be struggling. This is typically large patch disease, commonly called brown patch fungus - especially in St. Augustine and Zoysia lawns. 

This turf disease is active when nighttime temperatures range from 60-75 degrees and daytime temperatures don’t exceed 85-90 degrees. These temperatures are usually seen in the Spring and Fall. Like other fungi, Large Patch also requires adequate moisture in its environment to thrive, so be careful with your Gainesville irrigation settings.

This disease affects the blades of the grass and typically will not kill the entire grass plant. It begins as small patches that discolor, yellow then brown, as the grass blades die. An interesting display of Large Patch fungus in a lawn is the “donut effect” it may create. In...

Quick Tip: Have You Noticed Moths in Your Lawn?

For the past few weeks, we've gotten a couple e-mails asking about large numbers of small moths flying around Gainesville lawns and beds. Although the moths themselves pose no danger to landscape plants, the presence of the moths is a legitimate cause for concern.
 
It's not that moths damage the lawn though, they're just a symptom of the actual problem - which is an infestation of the Tropical Sod Webworm

How are moths and sod webworms related?  Very similar to a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, the tropical sod webworm turns into a moth. 
 
Sod Webworms damage your lawn by chewing the grass down to the leafbud as it's primary source of food, causing a similar effect on the lawn as if it were scalped with a mower in random spots. If there's anyhitng St. Augustine grass does not like, it's being scalped - which causes it to turn brown. ...

Quick Tip: Why Does my Lawn Have Brown Spots this Summer?

In this dry summer we are experiencing this year, there are typically only two factors creating brown spots in your Gainesville lawn - drought stress or chinch bugs. The two are actually related as well, because chinch bugs prefer to attack struggling lawns that have been stressed from dry weather. 

DROUGHT STRESS

When explaining drought stress, the common response many homeowners have is, 'How can that happen if I have a sprinkler system?' It's a valid concern. Most of our clients have irrigation systems that are running properly and are following the watering restrictions - only running them 2 days per week and watering early in the morning. So, why is their lawn struggling? It's not about whether their irrigation system is running, but how long and often it's running that matters.

Picture a bucket filled with water and left in the middle of a sunny lawn. If you were to check it a week later you’d see it probably lost about 1” of water. That...

Why are Gainesville Chinch Bugs so dangerous for Gainesville grass?

From May until the cooler weather of October is officially Gainesville's Chinch Bug Season – the most dangerous season for your St Augustine lawn. Why?  First, Chinch Bugs like it hot and dry – or at least they like their St Augustine turf hot and dry. Nothing is more inviting to a chinch bug than St Augustine grass dry from the lack of irrigation and baked all day under the hot Gainesville, Florida sun.  Second, Chinch Bug damage is so complete and so fatal to St Augustine turf grass that there is no recovery – your lawn is officially dead! So what are Chinch Bugs? and how do you prevent Chinch Bugs from destroying your beautiful Gainesville lawn?

WHAT ARE CHINCH BUGS?

Chinch Bugs are not only lawn pests, they are predators. Their prey is weak, suffering St Augustine turf grass – preferably St Augustine turf grass that is weak and suffering from drought stress. As a predator, their role is to remove the weak to make room for the strong. In a lawn that...

Quick Tip: Chinch Bugs are Coming to Gainesville Lawns

This is the time of the year when we start getting a lot of calls and emails from customers worried about dry dead spots they are finding in their yards, and they seem to be growing. Typically, this is chinch bug damage, especially if it's between April and October.

The concern is valid because chinch bugs can cause all wreak havok in Gainesville, Florida lawns.

It is important to know that chinch bugs do not die in winter. Which means In our area many think they are chinch bug-free once they go dormant in winter, but then are surprised when they have a mass invasion again the following spring if not treated properly with a Gainesville Lawn Insect Control.

Another problem is that Chinch bugs are attracted to drought stressed grass. What does that mean? It means when we have a dry spring (like this one), chinch bugs are much...

Are Fire Ants Ruining Your Gainesville Lawn?

Your home can be considered your castle, and your lawn is a major part of that kingdom. But when your Gainesville landscape is covered with pests like fire ants, it sure doesn’t feel that way. Instead of enjoying a blissful stroll through your front and back lawn, you may feel like you are walking through a minefield. Fire ants will attack your feet, ankles and legs in no time at all with one simple misstep. Their bites sting, and can often cause severe reactions—especially for those who are allergic. Even for those not allergic though, they certainly cause pain, frustration, and small infectious sores.

There are a few reasons why ants can be such a nuisance to the lawn. For one, they aren’t always easy to notice. One minute you are pulling the hose across the lawn to water the plants, and the next minute you are desperately trying to hose the pests off of your legs. When they attack, they attack in large numbers—and once they settle in they multiply quickly.

Of...

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