Tag Archives: Florida Lawn Care

Florida Lawn Care

Information on Lawn Pests

AntsLooking for information on lawn pests in Florida? You have found the right place on the web! Most homeowners in Florida take pride in maintaining their gardens and landscapes. But healthy landscapes can bring certain Florida bugs, and these pests feed on plants and grass. Unless protective pest control measures are taken, various outdoor invaders can do extensive damage to your yard and garden.

Chinch bugs are seriously damaging to St Augustine and other turf grass species. They suck the plant juices through their needle-like beak and can also cause other internal injuries to the grass, which can result in yellowish and brown patches in lawns. These affected areas are frequently noticed first along concrete or asphalt-paved edges, or in water-stressed areas where the grass is growing in full sun.

Aphids and whitefly feed on vegetable plantings, ornamentals and tender plant parts such as grass shoots, sucking out essential fluids. Aphids and scale excrete a sweet substance known as honeydew that attracts ants and forms a sticky coating on leaves. The honeydew can form a fungus called “sooty mold,” which can make leaves, especially on ornamentals, look black and dirty. Aphids can also transmit plant viruses to their food plants, which can cause the plant to die. These pests, as well as chinch bugs, are particularly prevalent throughout the spring months.

Armyworms, sod webworms and grubworms eat the grass blades and shoots that make up healthy lawns, causing major damage to various kinds of turf grass. They are common during the fall months.

During fall and winter, mites and scale are common. Scale insects live in the soil and suck the juices from the grass roots of turf grass; they can also be harmful to ornamental plants. Symptoms attributed to scale insects include yellowing of the grass, followed by browning; scale damage becomes most noticeable when the grass is under stress due to drought, nutritional deficiencies and other afflictions. Ordinarily not a pest in well-managed lawns, mites are known to attack grasses. They suck the sap and cause leaves to appear blotched and stippled, and severe infestations can also kill plants.

Some of these pests are especially damaging since they are literally born and raised on lawn turf grass in the surrounding soil. Sod webworms eat various grasses as larvae and continue doing so as adults. Others, like mole crickets, destroy lawns by tunneling through the soil near the lawn’s surface, which loosens the soil so that the grass is often uprooted and dies due to the drying out of the root system. They also feed on grass roots, causing thinning of the turf, eventually resulting in bare soil. Mole crickets are common when the temperatures are the warmest and rainfall and humidity is high. They can also be found in and around your home in dark, damp places.

Slugsandsnails often move about on lawns and may injure adjacent plants. They are night feeders and leave mucous trails on plants and sidewalks. Plaster bagworms, close relatives of the clothes moth, are often found in sheds and garages.

Do you live in Florida and have a lawn pest problem in your landscape? Hulett Environmental Services offers custom designed lawn care treatments to control and prevent these pests!

Wireless chip catches ride on dragonfly

Wireless chip catches ride on dragonfly

Duke University researcher Matt Reynolds and colleagues have developed a sensor and transmitter light enough to be carried by a dragonfly, transmitting the insect’s nerve impulses to researchers at 5 megabytes per second as it hunts its prey on the wing. (Credit: Duke University)

DUKE (US) — A new wirelessly powered telemetry system is lightweight and powerful enough to study the neurological activity of dragonflies as they capture prey on the wing.

Past studies of insect behavior have been limited by the fact that remote data collection, or telemetry, systems were too heavy to allow the insects to act naturally, as they would in the wild. The new system uses no batteries; its power is beamed wirelessly to the flying dragonfly.

Duke University electrical engineer Matt Reynolds, working with Reid Harrison at Intan Technologies, developed the chip for scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), who are trying to better understand the complex flight control system of dragonflies.

They gather their information by attaching tiny electrodes to individual cells in the dragonfly’s nerve cord and recording the electrical activity of the dragonfly’s neurons and muscles. Because existing systems are so heavy, experiments to date have been carried out with immobilized dragonflies.

“Our system provides enough power to the chip attached to a flying dragonfly that it can transmit in real time the electrical signals from many dragonfly neurons,” Reynolds says. The researchers expect this system will enable studying behavior of small animals remotely for the first time.

Reynolds, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, presented his work last week at the annual Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference, held by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in San Diego.

Tons of data

The wireless power transmitter works within a flight arena used for the experiments. It can send enough power to the chip to enable it to send back reams of data at over five megabits per second, which is comparable to a typical home Internet connection.

This is important, the scientists say, because they plan to sync the neuronal data gathered from the chip with high-speed video taken while the insect is in flight and preying on fruit flies.

“Capturing this kind of data in the past has been exceedingly challenging,” says Anthony Leonardo, a neuroscientist who studies the neural basis of insect behavior at HHMI’s Janelia Farm Research Campus in Virginia. “In past studies of insect neurons, the animal is alert, but restrained, and observing scenarios on a projection screen. A huge goal for a lot of researchers has been to get data from live animals who are acting naturally.”

Weighs less than a stamp

The average weight of the dragonfly species involved in these studies is about 400 milligrams, and Leonardo estimates that an individual dragonfly can carry about one-third of its weight without negatively impacting its ability to fly and hunt.

Currently, most multi-channel wireless telemetry systems weigh between 75 and 150 times more than a dragonfly, not counting the weight of the battery, which rules them out for most insect studies, he says. A battery-powered version of the insect telemetry system, previously developed by Harrison and Leonardo, weighs 130 milligrams—liftable by a foraging dragonfly but with difficulty.

The chip that Reynolds and his team developed is just 38 milligrams, or less than half the weight of a typical postage stamp. That makes it one-fifth the weight of earlier telemetry systems, but with 15 times greater bandwidth, Reynolds says.

The researchers expect to begin flight experiments with dragonflies over the next few months. The testing will take place in a specially designed flight arena at HHMI’s Janelia Farm complex equipped with nature scenes on the walls, a pond and plenty of fruit flies for the dragonflies to eat.

The chip, with two hair-thin antennae, will be attached to the belly of the insect so it does not interfere with the wings. Being carried like a backup parachute on the underside of the animal also gives it uninterrupted radio contact with the power transmitter on the ground.

The project is supported in part by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

More news from Duke University: http://today.duke.edu/

Animals: Flying Insects Captured in 3D

“Flydra,” a new multi-camera, real-time, three-dimensional method of recording multiple flying animals, shows the minutest details of airborne insects. Click link at right to get the whole story. This movie shows various 2-D cameras tracking…

Hulett Environmental Services Inc. Business Review in West Palm Beach FL – South East Florida BBB

Hulett Environmental Services Inc. Business Review in West Palm Beach FL – South East Florida BBB.

 

Eat Bugs, Save The World

Allow me to introduce you to Daniella Martin. She is the host of Girl Meets Bug, the insect cooking show. Her website explains, “She is passionate about teaching people that insects are fabulous food –in addition to being the most environmentally-efficient animal protein source on the planet!” She makes some valid arguments on her site noting that “insects require up to 20 times less food than cattle, meaning that per pound of food they are given, they produce several times the amount of protein.” The bottom line is if you want to help save the world then get on the insect diet. Although she brings some valid arguments to the table I don’t foresee insect diets catching on in the near future. Considering many people have fear of such insects is just the beginning, I have been around bugs my entire life and I wouldn’t for one second dream of letting this yummy “cuisine” anywhere near my mouth. Just check out the clip below, looking at it just makes me wonder how many organisms may be growing out of her. None the less we bid her good luck in the insect eating quest, but please be sure to save some for Hulett.