A collective of 9 Landcare groups working together as the UMEC Landcare Network and part of the greater Highlands Landcare Foundation.
The first step is to identify the pest and the conditions that led to the pest infestation. After making sure the pest population is at a level that would cause unacceptable damage to the lawn, pesticides may be part of the treatment plan. If you choose to use one, keep these tips in mind:
• Always read and follow label directions.
• Do not apply pesticides on windy days, as they may drift beyond the application area.
• Spot treat for weed and insect infestations whenever possible.
• Do not apply a pesticide in or near a water source and keep it off pavement or impervious surfaces that could be washed into water bodies.
• Stay out of treated areas until the spray has dried, dust has settled or as directed on the product label.
Remember, not all insects are pests. Less than 5 percent of all insects are harmful and most of these have natural predators such as other insects, birds, bats and toads to keep them in check.
Robust lawns are more resistant to pest attacks than lawns under stress. Correcting soil pH, proper fertilization and other management practices that encourage healthy lawn growth are all part of creating a beautiful lawn year after year.
While some homeowners prefer applying lawn care products to control or eliminate pests themselves, others might feel more comfortable hiring a professional to apply the products. Regardless, environmental stewardship should be a top priority when managing and maintaining lawns and landscapes.
“A lawn is the focal point of recreational activity and aesthetic beauty of a property. Carefully and frequently analyzing a lawn for pests, weeds, diseases and insects will help to identify problems before a threshold of damage occurs. Correcting the problems will ensure a healthy lawn, save money on costly repairs and enhance the quality and appearance of a lawn,” says John Gibson, director of operations for Swingle Tree, Lawn & Christmas Decor, Denver, Colo., and president of the Professional Landcare Network, a national association for professional landscape contractors.
Gibson is also a member of Project EverGreen, a national non-profit organization formed to raise the awareness of the environmental, economic and lifestyle benefits of landscapes and promote the significance of those who preserve and enhance green spaces at home, work and play.