Everything You Need to Know about Armyworms
- Adult armyworm moths are most active at night. Female armyworms lay a minimum of 50 eggs and can lay as many as a few hundred. Within several days these eggs hatch and the larvae feed on the best leaves available: your lawn.
- Larvae feed for 2 to three weeks before pupating, during which time they consume huge swatches of grass.
- Heat drives off armyworms. They’re most active in late summer and early fall, resting during the day and becoming active in early mornings and evenings. Cooler weather causes armyworms to become more active during the day.
- According to some UGA Cooperative Extension agents, this summer may bring the worst armyworm infestation in 25 years.
- The best way to spot armyworm damage is to pay close attention to the lawn. Young armyworms often eat leaves in areas that aren’t immediately apparent, causing significant lawn damage before they’re found. It’s especially easy to overlook armyworms in thick, healthy grass.
You might think that regularly scheduled pesticide application is the only way to keep unwanted creatures away from your home and lawn. However, an integrated pest management (IPM) program offers a more practical, environmentally friendly approach to pest control. Alternative Environments is committed to pest management solutions that are safe, effective, and friendly to the environment. How does IPM align with our goals?
Principles of IPM
At its core, IPM is based on these fundamentals:
- Pest prevention: While traditional pest control strategies tend to focus on eradicating pests that are already present, IPM concentrates on the causes of infestation to prevent pest outbreaks from happening in the first place.
- Prudent pesticide usage: IPM utilizes a wide range of pest management techniques, including pesticides. However, chemical pesticides are considered a last resort. In instances when they are needed, integrated pest management plans use the least toxic treatments available and carefully minimizes exposure to humans, pets, and other non-target species.
Benefits of IPM
- IPM helps to maintain balance in the ecosystem. By focusing on prevention and elimination of specific pests, IPM allows beneficial organisms to continue to thrive.
- Limited usage of chemicals means pests do not build up a resistance to pesticides.
- Because pesticides are applied only when necessary, rather than according to a rigid schedule, IPM is less expensive than a conventional pest management program.
- IPM is environmentally sensitive, minimizing the impact of pest control on air, soil, and water.
Contact Alternative Environments to learn more about integrated pest management in Villa Rica.
How to Protect Your Pets from Fleas and TicksFleas and ticks are more than just a nuisance. Ticks can carry diseases like Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and a variety of other illnesses. These can affect both dogs and people, and are usually carried by the blacklegged tick or brown dog tick. Fleas are most likely to cause irritation, but some do carry diseases that spread to dogs, cats, and other animals. Here’s how to protect your pets from flea and tick bites:
- Keep the lawn trimmed and prune trees and shrubs
- Avoid areas with high grass or overgrown vegetation
- Check for ticks after your pets have been outdoors
- Ask your vet about preventative flea and tick treatments
- If one of your pets gets fleas, treat the uninfected pets, too, or the fleas might simply jump to a new host
Flea and Tick Pest Control in Villa RicaTicks and flea eggs can survive off their hosts. To eradicate a problem, schedule flea and tick pest control services. To prepare your home for a flea and tick treatment:
- Vacuum all carpets, baseboards, and upholstery
- Pick up any loose objects from the floors
- Wash all pet bedding
- Watch out for grubs. They go after your plants’ tender root systems in early summer.
- Adjust your mower blades to 3 inches and mow frequently.
- Manually remove any weeds that have slipped past your pre-emergent herbicides.
- Water deeply and infrequently to allow water to reach your lawn’s roots. Healthy lawns need about 1 inch of water per week. Water early in the morning or at sunset to minimize evaporation.
- Look for pooling water after summer storms. These indicate irrigation issues you’ll need to address in the future.
- Clean underneath your lawn mower once a month to prevent diseases from spreading.
- Patch any dead or bare areas in the yard.
- Keep the yard clear of debris.
- Aerate and overseed the lawn if you didn’t do so in the spring.
- Only fertilize the lawn early in the season. Fertilizing in late autumn jumpstarts growth just as the grass enters dormancy, which increases the risk of winter injury.
- Keep the lawn clean of debris.
- Minimize lawn traffic, which damages dormant grass.
- Don’t forget to water your lawn in the winter. It needs less moisture than it does in the summer, but the grass still needs adequate hydration.
- Sharpen mower blades. Dull blades will tear the grass, opening it up to further damage and disease.
- Tune your mower to ensure it runs smoothly all summer. Check your spark plug and air filter.
- Refill the gas. First drain old gas, which can get watered down and damage your mower’s engine.
- Clean up winter debris. This will help your lawn grow without dead patches.
- Apply pre-emergent herbicides to stop weeds before they sprout.
- Fertilize your lawn just before the start of growing season.
- Aerate and overseed your grass to keep it in peak health.