Getting Rid of Garden Pests

No gardener wants to deal with invasive pests that may inhabit their yard. This is especially true with garden pests in Central Florida, as we certainly have our fair share. No matter how big or how small, pests can wreak havoc on an otherwise healthy lawn and/or garden. In an effort to help you keep your garden free of any unwanted critters, today we take a look at the best way to get rid of some of the most common pests.

The Mole

Just look at this little guy…how cute is he? Well, cuteness factor aside, he can do some major damage to your lawn. If you notice small mounds of soil dotting your yard, chances are you have a mole. The mounds are created when moles dig up dirt in search of grubs and insects. Most moles can be driven away by saturating the holes they make with a castor oil mixture. Simply mix four tablespoons of a vegetable-based detergent with twelve ounces of castor oil, put the mixture in a spray bottle, and spray liberally where the creatures are digging. This method won’t do any permanent damage to your furry friends, only cause them to get an upset tummy and seek a more desirable location.

The Chinch Bug

Now on to the not so cute critters. Did you know that the various Augustine grasses are the most popular in Florida? As it turns out, in addition to being popular with Floridians, they are also popular with chinch bugs. If you’ve got Augustine grass in your yard, you need to be on the lookout for chinch bugs. These pests can leave ugly, dry, brown spots on your otherwise beautiful lawn. Chinch bugs can be kept at bay by properly aerating your lawn. If it’s too late for preventative maintenance and you notice an infestation however, you will need a lawn care professional to get rid of them for good.

The Japanese Beetle

The Japanese Beetle, aka Popillia japonica is about as attractive as a bug can get. With a combo green/gold shell, they are easy to spot after they have infested your garden. Adult Japanese Beetles feast on both the fruit and the leaves of various plants. They do so in swarms which means that damage to your garden can happen very quickly and be very severe. Japanese Beetle grubs can eat the roots of your grass and cause brown spots to appear.

The easiest way to get rid of adult Japanese Beetles is simply to pick them off of your plants by hand and drop them in a bucket of soapy water. I highly recommend using a pair of thick gardening gloves when doing so if you’re at all skittish about touching them. For grubs, the solution is a bit trickier. A useful product for getting rid of grubs is milky spore. This is a natural bacteria that kills grubs and causes them to decompose. After decomposition, the leftover material creates new spores in the ground which in turn kill additional grubs.  That’s what I call a win-win!

If you need help getting rid of any of the pests mentioned above, give Aventura Nursery & Landscaping a call today at (352) 799-3200. We are ready and waiting to help you keep your lawn and/or garden pest free!

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