Most homeowners strive for that perfect lush green lawn and landscaping with bright green tropical plants. It is a time consuming and labor intensive process which leave you frustrated when it is ruined by bugs and insects. South Florida is home to several bugs that not only do damage to your lawn, but pose health and safety risks as well. It’s essential you get your lawn treated from alawn pest control professional to ensure your family’s safety and preserve your hard work.
Fire Ants are a common insect in South Florida that can attack humans and pets. They not only attack, but with force with hundreds and sometimes thousands in a colony. According to a University of South Florida publication there are several varieties of fire ants that thrive in the warm climate of South Florida. One variety is a mound building type that can wreak havoc on your landscaping building mounds up to 18 inches in diameter. It is essential that you get your lawn treated when you first see these ants or before to prevent a colony from forming.
Grasshoppers are a common outdoor insect that most homeowners don’t think of as a pest. In some areas their population can become out of control and they do severe damage to common landscaping plants. They constantly feed on green vegetation and often times the plants you cherish and maintain on a regular basis.
There are two types of whiteflies in southern Florida which affect a variety of trees and plants including ficus, palms and some fruit trees. Symptoms of an infestation include a large number of small white-colored flies, discolored leaves or an excessive amount of fallen leaves or branches. Treatment for these is necessary as they not only damage your landscaping but can affect your outdoor pool and ponds.
If you are concerned about your lawn or have an existing pest problem contact us at 866-611-2847 or online to schedule your free lawn analysis and receive a $50.00 coupon
Information on Lawn Pests
Looking 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.
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!
As it turns out insects can tell you a lot more then you might initially believe. It is known as forensic entomology and it is helping detectives solve murders. By studying the kind of bugs that are on a body a investigator can learn a number of things to help them solve the crime.
From time of death, to cause of death, and other information bugs can be a real clue to helping police crack a case wide open. To learn more how bugs are helping solve mysteries check out: Studying bugs on a body can help solve murders, students in Hunterdon learn
(Phys.org) —A pair of researchers with the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida has conducted a through genetic analysis of butterflies and moths and in the process has revealed some of their evolutionary history. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Akito Kawahara and Jesse Breinholt describe the DNA analysis they undertook of the insects and the results they found in doing so.
Butterflies and moths are among the most cherished of insects, the researchers note, due to their beauty and relationship to equally lovely flowers. All told there are approximately 160,000 known species of the insect, though many more have not been identified—some scientists suggest there could be half a million. Despite their widespread popularity, the evolutionary relationship between the two (moths and butterflies) has been difficult to estimate—very few fossils exist due to their extremely fragile body and wing structures and the lack of thorough DNA studies. In this new effort, the team in Florida set out to more firmly establish the evolutionary tree of the wispy creatures.
The two researchers sequenced almost 3000 genes creating in the process a dataset that included 46 taxa that combined 33 new transcriptomes with 13 genomes, expressed sequence tags and transcriptomes. They used a technique known as HaMStR (a next-generation sequencing approach) to identify 2,696 genes for inclusion into their phylogenomic analysis.
Their study showed that butterflies all share a single common ancestor and give credence to the theory that butterflies are more closely related to very small (micro) moths, rather than those of larger species, contradicting previous studies that had found the opposite to be true. More specifically, they found evidence that suggests plume and geometroid moths are likely the first relatives of butterflies. Also, the research showed that insects known as hedylids, commonly known as butterfly-moths are in fact true butterflies, not moths at all.
The overall result of the work was what the duo describe as the “first robust, transcriptome-based tree of Lepidoptera”—one that strongly contradicts the placement of butterflies in the historical context. It also provides an evolutionary framework, they note, for future research efforts—be they developmental, genomic, or ecological—for both butterflies and moths.
More information: Phylogenomics provides strong evidence for relationships of butterflies and moths, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, rspb.royalsocietypublishing.or… nt/281/1788/20140970
AbstractButterflies and moths constitute some of the most popular and charismatic insects. Lepidoptera include approximately 160 000 described species, many of which are important model organisms. Previous studies on the evolution of Lepidoptera did not confidently place butterflies, and many relationships among superfamilies in the megadiverse clade Ditrysia remain largely uncertain. We generated a molecular dataset with 46 taxa, combining 33 new transcriptomes with 13 available genomes, transcriptomes and expressed sequence tags (ESTs). Using HaMStR with a Lepidoptera-specific core-orthologue set of single copy loci, we identified 2696 genes for inclusion into the phylogenomic analysis. Nucleotides and amino acids of the all-gene, all-taxon dataset yielded nearly identical, well-supported trees. Monophyly of butterflies (Papilionoidea) was strongly supported, and the group included skippers (Hesperiidae) and the enigmatic butterfly–moths (Hedylidae). Butterflies were placed sister to the remaining obtectomeran Lepidoptera, and the latter was grouped with greater than or equal to 87% bootstrap support. Establishing confident relationships among the four most diverse macroheteroceran superfamilies was previously challenging, but we recovered 100% bootstrap support for the following relationships: ((Geometroidea, Noctuoidea), (Bombycoidea, Lasiocampoidea)). We present the first robust, transcriptome-based tree of Lepidoptera that strongly contradicts historical placement of butterflies, and provide an evolutionary framework for genomic, developmental and ecological studies on this diverse insect order.
Beware of the Stings This Summer
Hulett Environmental Services profiles the most dangerous summer stingers
The summer season is a time to enjoy the sunshine and the great outdoors, but it’s also the time when stinging insects can make an appearance at picnics, cookouts and pool parties. Hulett Environmental, a pest management company servicing South Florida warns that yellowjackets, wasps, hornets and other common stinging insects can pose an increased threat to one’s health. In fact, they send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year, according to the National Pest Management Association.
From painful stings to severe allergic reactions, stinging insects can put a damper on summer fun. Whether you plan to fire up the grill, go to the playground or relax by the pool this summer, it’s important to be aware of the risks posed by certain stinging insects.
Below are the most common stingers people might encounter during the summer months.
Yellowjackets – Yellowjackets are distinguished by the black and yellow color pattern banded across their abdomens. They are territorial and may sting repeatedly if threatened.
European Hornets – European hornets are active at night. They have smooth stingers that carry venom known to cause itching, swelling and pain for about 24 hours. Like yellowjackets and wasps, European hornets can sting repeatedly during an attack.
Paper Wasps – Paper wasps are not an aggressive species by nature, but they will sting if their nest is threatened. Wasp stings are painful and can cause the same risk of allergic reaction as other insect stings.
Killer Bees – Africanized “killer” bees defend their colony and will attack in large numbers when threatened. However, they can only sting once as their stingers are barbed and tear off when trying to get away. Killer bees have been known to chase people for more than a quarter mile.
The best way to prevent an unwanted encounter is to exercise caution when outdoors. If you come in contact with a bee or wasp, do not swat it, as that may actually provoke an attack. Remain calm and the insect should fly away without causing harm.
For more information on stinging insects, visit www.bugs.com
Hulett Environmental Services, an organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, offers these tips to help pests from ruining your summer gathering:
- Prior to the party, check screen doors and repair any holes.
- Remove sources of standing water in your yard, including birdbaths, wading pools or garden ponds.
- Have insect repellant containing an EPA-registered active ingredient like DEET or Picaridin available for you and your guests.
- Adorn your deck or patio with citronella candles that can help minimize the presence of mosquitoes.
- With guests coming in and out of your house, make sure the doors close behind them.
- Plan to serve food and beverages indoors, and reserve outdoor space for eating and entertaining.
- Keep food sealed in containers whenever possible, and wipe tabletops frequently.
- Clean trash, spills and crumbs immediately from tables and other surfaces.
- Bring utensils and dishware indoors shortly after the meal.
- Rinse all beverage bottles and cans, and dispose of them in tightly closed garbage containers.
If pests become intolerable, you may have a larger problem and need professional assistance. Sometimes, pest pressure can get out of hand. For example, if homeowners notice large mounds of ants or stinging insect nests around the property, they’ll want to contact a professional to help them safely remove these infestations as they can be a threat to our safety. Just Call HULETT!
Pest Control Versus Pest Prevention
A Proactive Solution
Preventing pests from entering your home is even more important than controlling them once you have a problem. That is why Hulett’s Healthy Home program focuses on pest prevention, not just pest control.
Traditional pest control companies simply apply pesticides in and around your home in a routine manner, but Hulett’s programs are designed by Graduate Entomologists and offer a more specific, customized approach.
From a health and environmental standpoint, this is a much more responsible treatment method for you and your family; which means no unnecessary smelly sprays in your home!
With Hulett you receive a more effective and convenient pest prevention system with guaranteed results!