Category Archives: Custom & Multiple Tree Care Options & Treatments

The Call of the Wild Grub

The Call of the Wild Grub

If you have a lawn, they live in it, feed on it, and burrow underneath it.  Grubs eat the roots of grass and therefore can do a lot of damage before they are spotted.  Brown patches of dead grass will be the first sign of grub infestation.

But they can also do damage more indirectly, by attracting raccoons and skunks to your back yard.  These rodents will dig through the grass in attempts to secure an easy and delicious grub-centered meal.

To keep the rodents away, the best approach is to discourage their presence.  To make your yard inhospitable, dangle shiny CDs above the area, use loud noises, spread ammonia-soaked rags, or disperse the urine from predatory animals.

Most home care businesses will supply a variety of products to repel rodents.

Controlling the grub population may be necessary if there is a serious infestation (four or more grubs per square foot), but using grub pesticides can have adverse consequences for other, beneficial soil organisms.

A better approach to rid the lawn of too much digging is to spread a generous coating of Milorganite, which will dissuade rodents from digging.  To repair damage, re-seeding can begin in the fall season.

The Seasonal Attack of White Grub

The Seasonal Attack of White Grub

They will unapologetically eat your lawn, and you may not even know they are there.  A few telltale signs can be all you need to remove these root-crunching grubs from your life, however.

They go after the roots of grass and therefore can kill large amounts of your beautiful green yard.  To avoid this, inspect your lawn periodically for dead patches that are effortlessly pulled from the earth.  Since the grubs have consumed the roots, the turf is easily removed.  By digging up the patch, you can count the small white larvae; if you have more than 3 per square foot, you should begin treatment by calling a pest control professional or researching home treatments.

The dead patches are usually not noticeable until midsummer, but the grubs first begin feeding in early spring.  If you can wipe them out the summer after they begin chomping away, the yard can be easily restored.  The second stage, after their first winter hibernation, is the most damaging.  By then, those grubs have matured and laid more eggs, underground.

By the next spring, all those satiated little grubs will have become mature, reproducing insects.  By then it will be much more difficult to eradicate them.

Fruit-Eaters Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Fruit-Eaters Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Summer is here and fruit trees are nearer to producing their delicious cornucopia of juicy, sweet delicacies ripening in back yards across Florida.  Yet humans are not the only creatures waiting.  An amazing number of insects enjoy fruit just as much as we do.

Aphid, whiteflies, scales and psyllids are potential threats to your trees, and knowing what to look for can save not only the fruit but, sometimes, the tree itself.

Aphids are tiny insects that come in green, reddish-brown, black or gray.  They are identified by their small size and tendency to infest the bottom of tree leaves.  If your tree has aphids, you will likely see a sooty mold that precipitates a white sticky substance called honeydew.

The whitefly is another scourge to be on the lookout for, and are very similar to aphids in behavior and result.  Their presence, in large enough numbers, will also produce mold.  They are identified by their diminutive size and white appearance.

Like aphids and whiteflies, scales also produce mold.  In Florida, where fruit trees abound, there are three types:  wax scale, purple scale and soft brown scale.  Their presence leaves trees weakened and leads to a fruit of low quality.

 

Regular maintenance of your trees requires observation, which should happen weekly.  In most cases, once a problem is identified, it is often manageable with swift and appropriate intervention.  Asian psyllids are another issue altogether, however.  This invasive species attacks all types of citrus and once identified, the tree must be destroyed and removed.

Hungry Grubs Call for Three-Pronged Strategy

Hungry Grubs Call for Three-Pronged Strategy

Lurking in your turf may be a large white grub.  You can see its signs by noticing holes and brown patches in your lawn, and it may need to be treated.

Before trying an insecticide, there are two other approaches to contain these hungry critters.  But first, you must understand them.  They are in larval stage as white grubs, but grow into a brown beetle in adulthood.  They are a golden brown but with darker heads and about three quarters of an inch in size.  They lazy their eggs in the ground (that is, your yard!), the grubs generally hatch in late summer then feed on roots of turf, until winter puts them into a hibernation-like state.

In Spring the grubs rise again, eating their fill until they reach pupation in early or mid summer.

If you spotted signs of the grubs, your approach should be to first determine the extend of the infestation.  Steps must be taken if you find more than six of these critters per square food of lawn.  First, aerate.  Next, try using beneficial nematodes.  Only as a last step will you want to treat with insecticides.

South Florida Careers | Hulett Environmental Services

Helpful Lawn Care Tips

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly Control

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly – Customer Information Sheet

The most noticeable symptoms of an infestation of this whitefly is the abundance of
the white, waxy material covering the leaves and also excessive sooty mold. Like other similar insects, these whiteflies will produce “honeydew”, a sugary substance, which causes the growth of sooty mold. The actual effect of an infestation on the health of a plant is unknown; however, whiteflies in general can cause plant decline, defoliation and branch dieback.

Free Spiraling Whitefly Inspection

South Florida has new variety of whitefly referred to as Spiraling whitefly. This fly can affect a wide variety of Florida’s beautiful tropical plants such as:

  • Gumbo Limbo
  • Banana
  • Black Olive Trees
  • Mango trees
  • A wide variety of Palms
  • Live oak, some shrubs such as copperleaf, cocoplum and wax myrtle
  • And many others

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly – Customer Information Sheet

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly – Customer Information Sheet

The most noticeable symptoms of an infestation of this whitefly is the abundance of
the white, waxy material covering the leaves and also excessive sooty mold. Like other similar insects, these whiteflies will produce “honeydew”, a sugary substance, which causes the growth of sooty mold. The actual effect of an infestation on the health of a plant is unknown; however, whiteflies in general can cause plant decline, defoliation and branch dieback.

Free Spiraling Whitefly Inspection

South Florida has new variety of whitefly referred to as Spiraling whitefly. This fly can affect a wide variety of Florida’s beautiful tropical plants such as:

  • Gumbo Limbo
  • Banana
  • Black Olive Trees
  • Mango trees
  • A wide variety of Palms
  • Live oak, some shrubs such as copperleaf, cocoplum and wax myrtle
  • And many others