Managing lawn and garden pests fulfills the adage that it's easier to prevent a problem than treat a problem. But unless you have a crystal ball, it's impossible to foresee all pest problems. So the second-best strategy for pest control is to take swift action as soon as you see early signs of damage. Otherwise, the uncontrolled pests may broaden their attack from the initially targeted plants to include collateral damage on secondary targets.
Spoiler alert: all bugs aren't bad. In fact, a judicious use of pesticides can help maintain the populations of "good bugs" that prey on the "bad bugs." Also, just like people who build immunities to certain types of medicine, bugs have a similar ability. They can develop a resistance to certain chemicals, which may help explain why the pests in your yard seem to be out of hand no matter how often you apply pesticides.
The Grounds Guys® are skilled in the identification and control of insects that damage your ornamental plants as well as your backyard vegetable garden. We'll work with you to nip early problems in the bud before they escalate to critical issues, and we'll manage the offending culprits without damaging your plants by harmful chemicals.
This three-pronged approach is an effective and responsible pest control strategy:
Monitor Your Plants
A hands-on -- or eyes-on -- approach to your lawn and garden establishes a tight relationship between you and your plants. Some flowers, such as roses, are typically more susceptible to insect and disease damage than other flowers, such as native plants or wildflowers. The Grounds Guys can not only help manage rose pests, but we can also suggest irrigation options that include soaker hoses or drip tapes to help keep the foliage dry for healthier plants. We can show you the different telltale symptoms of leaf-tunneling pests, sap-sucking pests and varied critters that chew on flowers, leaves and stems.
Identify The Pest(s)
Knowing the difference between the "good guys" and the "bad guys" is essential. Did you know that one of the "good guys" -- ladybug larvae -- look nothing like the cute adult beetles? Many insects go through various life stages, each of which may bear no resemblance to the mature adults. Because some ladybug larvae look like miniature alligators, you may mistake them for an unwelcome plant pest. But these tiny insects can eat their way through scores of aphids and scale insects that harm your plants. These and other beneficial insects are your allies, so you don't want to eradicate them and eliminate a natural and free source of pest control.
Control The Pest(s) By Using An Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Strategy
- The goal of IPM is to protect your plants above an acceptable threshold of damage by using the least-toxic pest control methods.
- The process of IPM uses multiple tactics, including biological, cultural and chemical approaches. IPM doesn't always provide a "quick fix;" rather, it offers healthier long-term solutions.
- The result of IPM is enjoying a yard and garden that sustains healthy plants while protecting beneficial insects, including pollinators. Did you know that if you reach for a chemical pesticide each time you see a bug you may also kill the pollinators -- such as bees and butterflies -- that are responsible for current-season vegetables as well as some next-season plants? Over time, if you destroy all the pollinators in your yard, you may have fewer flowers and reduced vegetable yields.
The Grounds Guys are veterans of pest warfare. Call on us to diagnose the problem, treat your plants and develop a comprehensive IPM pest control strategy to protect your landscape.