When it comes to pest control, we know that you often have a lot of questions. Below you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions we receive. If you don’t see the answer to your pest control question, please feel free to contact us.
I just received a lawn application and was advised to water it in, but my next watering day is several days away - help!
As we are all painfully aware, we are under strict guidelines as to when we can and cannot water our lawns. But, per the St. Johns River Management District guidelines the watering in of chemicals, including insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers, fungicides, and herbicides required by law, the manufacturer, or best management practices, is allowed any time within 24-hours of the application. Watering in of chemicals may not exceed 1/4 inch of water per application except as otherwise required by law, the manufacturer, or best management practices. And, it should be noted that irrigation using a hand-held hose equipped with a spray nozzle that can be adjusted so water flows only as needed is allowed anytime. Furthermore, for those of you with new landscape, irrigation is allowed any time of day for the initial 30-days and every other day for the next 30-days for a total of one 60-day period, provided the irrigation is limited to the minimum amount necessary for establishment.
For more info, go to: https://www.sjrwmd.com/wateringrestrictions/
How do I know if I have chinch bugs?
Chinch bugs damage turf by sucking the grass plant juices. Damage appears as areas of dead or gradually yellowing grass, especially where heat is radiated into the grass from sidewalks or roadways—known as the “hot spots” of your lawn. To reveal a chinch bug infestation, find a suspected yellowing patch of grass, part the blades and check the stems and soil surface for them. Young chinch bugs are a reddish-orange color with a white band, no wings, and are very small in size. As they mature they grow white-colored wings that can be either short or long and their bodies turn black and have a shape resembling a capsule. If you are unable to spot them with the naked eye, another method we recommend is the “flotation technique”. Take a metal coffee can with the top and bottom cut-off, push it 2 –3 inches into the soil of the suspected area, and fill with water. Keep the can filled for 5 minutes and any chinch bugs should float to the surface. Repeat these steps over several areas If you suspect an infestation in your lawn, please contact our office as soon as possible if you do find them...and be sure to keep the grass well watered in the meantime.
For more info, go to: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in383
How do I know if I have sod webworms?
Sod webworms appear in your lawn as moths. There is no control for the moths, but if you do see them, watch your lawn for subsequent damage. They feed at night and the damage to your lawn appears as scalped areas. The good news is they do not destroy the roots so the damage is mainly cosmetic and with the proper treatment, your turf will recover as quickly as your grass grows. If you suspect your lawn is being invaded by them, please contact our office as soon as possible so that we can make the appropriate insecticide application to your lawn. Want to learn more about these pests? Go to: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in968
What is the "tuna can test"?
We receive a great deal of calls from customers who believe they have chinch bugs, when in reality it is an area receiving inadequate water. A lot of our clients rely on irrigation maintenance companies to ensure their system is working properly, but it is imperative that you go behind them to make sure each head is reaching the proper areas and that the irrigation timer is set correctly -- please take the time to check it yourself --- your lawn will thank you! It is very easy to check for any problem areas by placing a few empty tuna cans around your lawn and measuring the water level after you've run your irrigation system for a full cycle. You want 3/4" to 1" water applied, so simply adjust the length of your running time to ensure you are applying the correct amount in a cycle.
My yard is now full of small holes...do you know what caused this?
Sounds like one or more pesky armadillos were foraging for food in your yard. The holes caused by armadillos are generally 1-3 inches in depth and 3-5 inches wide. To some extent they are considered beneficial, as their diet consists of insects and their larvae. They are also known to consume: earthworms, scorpions, spiders, snails, small vertebrates and their eggs, armyworms, cockroaches, ants, wasps, flies, beetles, and grasshoppers. The “damage” they cause is mostly cosmetic, though they sometimes uproot plants in beds. While there are some companies that do offer "grub control" applications, we do not. Reason being, grubs are located deep in your soil and very difficult to eliminate, not to mention that in order to eradicate them, we would have to literally drench every square inch of your soil. Furthermore, poison baits are illegal and ineffective and no chemical repellents or fumigants are registered for use in Florida. While there a lot of home remedies floating around, the only viable solution we know of is to either trap them yourself or call a wildlife trapper to do the job for you.
For more info, go to: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw082
I keep finding mounds of dirt pushed up in my yard. And when I walk across my lawn I can feel the ground pushing in underneath...do you know what is causing this?
Another common lawn mammal is the mole. If you have a mole, you will see mounds of dirt and/or surface ridges. The mounds look like puffs or piles of dirt shaped like a volcano. And, the surface ridges are raised and resemble the raised veins on the back of your hand. The surface ridges that lie just below the surface are foraging tunnels. These tunnels are created as the mole searches for the earthworms and insects on which they feed. Their diet consists of mole crickets, grubs, ants, cutworms, armyworms and slugs, though they are often falsely accused of eating the roots of grass and plants. Just as armadillos can be considered beneficial, so can moles. They also help to loosen and aerate the soil. In loose soil, moles can tunnel up to 18 feet per hour. Their living space is in the tunnels and chambers 6-12 inches below the surface. Soil from these deep burrows is pushed to the surface in small mounds. Like the armadillo, the damage caused by them is almost entirely cosmetic.
I have bees hovering over mounds in my yard. Help!
Many people become concerned as they see bees hovering close to the ground in their lawns and landscapes. These bees are known as andrenid or miner bees and are approximately ½ inch in length with a black body and light-colored hairs and are docile, as well as beneficial to our environment. After mating in late winter and early spring, the female selects a site that has dry, loose soil with sparse vegetation. She excavates a vertical shaft in the soil that is approximately the diameter of a pencil and up to 18" deep. Off of the main shaft, the female will construct several brood chambers that she lines with a waterproof material. The female bee provisions each brood chamber with pollen and nectar on which she lays an egg. The pollen and nectar sustain the larva until fall when the overwintering adult is formed. Early in the spring the bees emerge from the ground to begin the cycle over again. There is only one generation per year. The small mound of soil that is excavated from each burrow brings additional attention to the activity of the bees. As males continue to hover in the area of the burrows looking for unmated females, the bees appear more menacing than they actually are. Andrenid bees have a tendency to concentrate their nests in a relatively small area. In some cases the openings to the underground burrows are no more than three to four inches apart. The threat of being stung by these bees is usually highly overrated. The males cannot sting and the females are docile and not likely to sting unless stepped on, handled or threatened. While the entrances to the tunnels and excavated soil may appear disruptive to the lawn, they usually are not damaging. It may appear that the grass is thin because of the bees but it is more likely that the bees are in the area because the grass was already thin. Therefore, control is not necessary. To the contrary, because the andrenid bees forage to gather pollen and nectar, they are beneficial because they serve as pollinators this time of the year.
For more info, go to: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in912
I have webs on the trunk and branches of my tree. What is causing this?
The creatures causing this are commonly called tree cattle and are considered beneficial. Tree cattle form a very tight web along the trunk and limbs of a tree, sort of like a thin white stocking. This webbing, although it looks like a big, bad, biting spider might live somewhere nearby, is a protective covering for an insect that is cleaning your tree. Tree cattle eat organic matter and lichens that gets trapped in the cracks and crevices of the bark of the tree. Do your tree a favor and leave these little guys to do their work.
For more info, go to: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in553
I have mushrooms growing in my yard. Should I be concerned?
In a word, "no". Mushrooms often appear in a lawn after it has rained. They are not harmful to your lawn and can easily be removed by hand picking them or mowing.
For more info, go to: http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/giam/problems/weeds/mushrooms.html
Are the products used dangerous to kids and/or pets? Safety is our top priority. All of our service professionals have been trained on the proper application of materials to insure a safe and healthy environment for your family and pets. All pesticides used by Curtis Pest Control, Inc. are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Do the materials you use have an odor? All of the materials we use are low or no-odor.
I keep finding earwigs in my bathroom...do they bite? Earwigs can actually be considered beneficial to the outside garden, as they are known to eat other insects, but can quickly become a nuisance while seeking refuge inside your home. These pests are drawn to damp conditions. During the summer months they can be found around and in sinks and bathrooms. As they are generally nocturnal creatures, they like to stay well hidden during daylight hours in small crevices and cracks. While their appearance gives them the nickname “pincher bug”, they are known to be harmless to humans. Nevertheless, who wants them, or any insect for that matter, in their home?!
Want more information on some of Florida's more common household pests?
Go to: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topics/index.html and enter your search, i.e., German Cockroaches, Pantry Pests, etc.
I have spotted what I think are flying ants. How do I find out if they are indeed flying ants or termites?
It is very common for homeowners to mistake flying ants for termites, or vice versa. Both termites and ants are social insects. Social insects develop different features based upon their social role. Some ants and termites that are old enough to reproduce have wings and are called alates. There are a few key things that can help you tell the difference between winged termites (termite alates) and winged ants (ant alates).
The three differences in the two insects are as follows:
|Wings||Fore wings are larger than their hind Wings||Both sets of wings are equal size|
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