Lawn Insect Treatment Options
Includes the Best Products Available at Each Treatment!
There are many products out there for professionals to choose from. Many of the professionals work just like large companies and maximize the dollar brought in by using the cheapest product they can find. We use absolutely the best products for your lawn available, and we will never stop. Safe Earth refuses to treat you like just any customer. We feed our families by referrals and the only way to get them is do the best job for you no matter the cost.
Have a problem with insects in your lawn?
Our outdoor pest control providers can help stop the destructive behavior of insects that can feed on grass roots, seed or blades and release toxins that cause your lawn to turn yellow or brown. As a trusted lawn insect control company, we can assess your grass for harmful insects and recommend a proper lawn insect control service plan. Also remember, we provide a basic lawn insecticide FREE to all of our weed and fertilizer customers. This will help with ants, spiders, and more in your lawn! (If you need help with Fertilization or Weed control, just click on either link).
See our usual suspects below and feel free to let us know if we can help.
The best time to treat for Fire Ants is now. Texas has has an abundance of fire ants. Fire ants for everyone! We have enough to go around. We at Safe Earth have two types of treatments for these little guys:
Our granular treatment carries a 1 year warranty with it, and a liquid treatment that doesn’t last as long but still has a 30 day warranty. The liquid is less expensive and works very good, but you can expect the ants to return sooner than with the granular treatment.
Fire ants are a common sight in Texas. Reddish-brown in color, these ¼” long aggressive ants can attack in large numbers if threatened, or if it’s Thursday. They don’t really care and are just looking for something to bite… Capable of stinging and biting multiple times, fire ants inject a venom that in some cases can cause an allergic reaction or even death. Seek medical attention if you experience excessive itching, swelling, or shortness of breath. A red swollen itchy bump will appear at the bite site. Keep bite area clean to reduce infection.
Fire ants have a winged mating swarm that is performed in the spring. Females become fertilized then shed their wings while the male dies. They then begin creating a nest to lay her eggs and begin her colony. Fire ant colonies can have thousands of worker ants for 1 queen. Some fire ant colonies are capable of having multiple queens who are tolerant of each other.
Creating tunnels beneath the soil, fire ants push the excess dirt to the surface making a mound above ground. These mounds do not have an entry point for ants to move in and out of. The mound looks smooth so to speak. Their exit and entry areas are within the underground tunnels. However, should you disturb the mound, aggressive fire ants will swarm to the surface of the mound and attack whatever disturbed it. Mounds are often found in the soil along driveways and sidewalks or along the foundation of your home.
1. Seal cracks and gaps around the home. Doors, windows, plumbing or other utility lines, A/C units all have gaps that fire ants and other insects can enter through.
2. Repair leaks. Eliminate a water source for all insects.
3. Seal trash and food. Clean any spills. Fire ants eat on meats, sweets, nectar, greasy/oily foods, plants and other insects. Eliminate potential food sources.
4. Apply fire ant treatment to the lawn. This will infect the worker ants and when they return to the nest, will in turn infect the queen. When a queen dies, the colony dies.
Besides ants, mosquitoes cause the most trouble for everyone here in North Texas. Since they can fly, they travel a little quicker than earth bound insects. We should treat for mosquitoes every 21-25 days. We treat with a specialized mister/blower that get all the places that mosquitoes go. Typically, we treat from April 1st to October 31st.
Mosquitoes are the worst when it comes to outdoor flying insects. Always trying to swarm around and attack you. Mosquitoes are blood-sucking little demons whose bite itches like crazy.
Mosquitoes are often found in lawns that have an excess amount of standing water or debris. They will hide almost anywhere seeking shelter. Foliage around a structure, tall unkept grass, and wood piles are all places a mosquito can hide.
Eggs are laid in standing or stagnant water or in moist soil at the base of a plant or tree, after the female is fertilized and has had her first blood meal, compliments of you.
Females can lay over 200 eggs over a 1-week period of time. These eggs can hatch in a matter of a few days or even up to 8 months. Eggs that overwinter, generally, hatch in spring when temperatures stay above 50 degrees and are active until the weather cools down in the fall. You will most likely encounter them in the evening time after the sun has begun to set. Mosquitoes hide out in cool shady areas during the day so they won’t dehydrate.
To help eliminate mosquitoes:
1. Remove all standing or stagnant water
2. Keep lawn cut to a reasonable height of 3-3.5”
3. Trim shrubs and trees
4. Treat lawn and foliage for mosquitoes
The best time to treat for grub worms is usually August or late July. The larvae have hatched by now and are actively feeding. Considering that they are smaller, it takes less product to kill them in August vs later in the year. We use a systemic product that works very well. It gets on the leaf of the grass (or weed) and travels through the plant to the roots where the hungry little maniacs are waiting for their last meal. After death they will stay in the soil, decompose, and fertilize the grass they were just trying to kill.
May beetles, Japanese Beetles, or June bugs, pick your name. They are basically one in the same to a homeowner. All three start off as a destructive larvae called grub worms.
Grub worms are found in the soil of a lawn or garden and go through 3 stages of life after hatching before they reach adulthood. The first 2 stages happen just weeks apart in the summer and fall after hatching. From egg to larvae is only 2-3 weeks. The larval stage is the longest clocking in at 9-11 months. They’ll overwinter in this second to final stage prior to adulthood. Just before adulthood they will have the pre-pupal and pupal stage. This only lasts 2-3 weeks just like the egg stage.
Grub worms are a lawns worst nightmare. Burrowed beneath the soil, and eating at the grass roots. A grub worm infestation can destroy sections of a lawn in 72-hours.
Timing the treatment for grub worms in your lawn is essential. Treating for grubs after they exceed ½” long becomes less effective. Again, It’s best to treat in late summer before eggs have hatched or shortly after hatching. Late July to August is the ideal time.
Do you know what I’ve always wondered? Why don’t grubworms drown and come out of the soil after a hard rain just like earthworms do? If you know, leave us a comment on the blog!
Signs of possible grub worms or grub worm damage include:
1. Brown, dead or thinning patches of grass
2. Seeing white grubs within the soil
3. Animals, such as armadillos, digging in the lawn or garden
4. Grass will pull up like carpet. Will no longer be attached to the soil
The best time to treat for fleas is the second you see them! A single male and female flea can make 45 new fleas PER DAY…. You read that right. That single mating pair can produce over 2000 fleas in a very short period of time. They typically live 2-3 months.
Fleas are tiny black insects that, like mosquitoes, chiggers, and ticks, feed on animal or human blood. They are often found in lawns that have excess water, tall grass, and under trees. These insects are capable of jumping off grass blades onto shoes, pants, and animals. Once on an animal host, they can reproduce rapidly causing an infestation and making the animal uncomfortable with irritation and constant scratching.
Fleas are active from early spring until late fall in Texas, and in some warmer areas can be a year-round issue. Fleas can be carried into your yard by stray or wild animals and can also find their way from an infested neighbor’s yard.
Keep in mind that fleas are the reason for the bubonic plague. Fleas, like mosquitoes are no laughing matter. It’s best to get them taken care of as soon as you can.
Lawn flea infestations require one treatment. If you’re only having a lawn issue and you have made sure the animals are treated, one treatment is completely adequate. However, if the home in involved, we do the treatment twice, 7-10 days apart to be completely effective.
Best time to treat for these is when they show up. You can see them after a rain, and in warmer climates. Texas is warm and we have a lot of them. They are more active outside when it’s warmer so getting them to come in contact with our products makes the problem go away faster. We provide a full lawn liquid treatment to help rid you of the nasty little guys. Also a granular treatment is done around the structure at normal quarterly services for your home, if needed.
American Cockroaches go by many names. Here in Texas we call them water bugs, or the Houston Cockroach. In Florida they are called Palmetto bugs. American Cockroaches are primarily found outdoors. If they make their way indoors it’s in search for food and water. American cockroaches can find their way inside through plumbing, air ducts, cracks, and under doors. They prefer dark secluded areas with moisture that is near a food or water source. This is why you can often find them in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, sewers, and drains. Other places include in trees, flowerbeds, mulch, and leaf piles.
These reddish-brown 1.5-2” long pests can reproduce at an alarming rate. Laying approximately 1-2 egg capsules per week in their peak times and containing up to 16 eggs per capsule, adds up to an infestation. During non-peak times, the female will lay 1 capsule per month. Eggs begin to hatch in 6-weeks after being laid. Nymph American cockroaches emerge and go through 6 molts over the next 100 days before reaching adulthood.
Tips on getting rid of American cockroaches.
1. Keep food sealed
2. Clean all spills immediately
3. Repair leaks
4. Seal cracks and crevices
5. Keep yard debris free. Clean any leaf piles. Keep wood piles off ground and away from structures
6. Repair any damaged window screens, door weatherstripping, and door sweeps
7. Treat lawn, flowerbeds, and gardens with a insecticide
Spiders are a big issue here in North Texas. If you walk out in your lawn you can typically see hundreds of them scurrying all over. Best time to treat for spiders is whenever you want. There are there a lot of them when it’s warm. During the winter they stay hidden or have already headed for your house. A lawn insect treatment late fall before it gets cold is a good time to help prevent some inside winter pests. One in the spring and one in the summer helps as well so you or your kids aren’t rolling around with them.
There are many spiders you can find in your grass, flowerbeds, and garden. Many of them spin a silk web to catch their prey while few, like the Goldenrod Crab spider, Slender Crab spider, and Wolf spider don’t create a web. Instead, these spiders sit waiting on flowers, vegetation, or in tall grass for their prey to get close enough that they can extend their long legs and capture it.
Funnel or “grass” spiders can be found in low vegetation from late spring until fall arrives. Their webs resemble a funnel made up of a non-sticky silk.
Cross orb weavers hide on branches of trees and shrubs while they wait for flying insects to get caught up in their webs. These spiders are most noticed during the summer.
Wolf spiders are very common in most lawns and gardens. The various shades of brown their body possesses, allows them to blend into the color of soil, tree trucks, and branches.
The eyes on a wolf spider can reflect light at night. To check your lawn for wolf spiders, shining a flashlight throughout your grass may allow you to see their beady little eyes looking back at you.
Most spiders lay their eggs in the fall and await their arrival in the spring. Some spiders, like the wolf spider, carry their egg sac on their backs until they hatch. Depending on the species of spider, a single female spider can lay over 1,800 eggs at once. Of course, that number is for larger spiders. On average, an everyday spider in your lawn can lay up to 100 eggs at a time creating an infestation.
Helpful tips for eliminating spiders in your lawn:
1. Keep lawn and shrubs free of debris
2. Keep wood piles off of ground and away from structures
3. Mow lawn regularly. 3-3.5” is an ideal height
4. Most spiders eat other insects. Treating your lawn with a lawn insect treatment is recommended to keep spiders and other insects out
The best time to treat for Crane Flies is when you see the adults emerge in the early spring and fall. They are mating and laying eggs. The eggs can hatch soon thereafter and start wrecking your lawn for you. You’ll see these in the spring quite often. A liquid treatment is the best way to deal with them.
Though crane flies may look like giant mosquitoes, they are not mosquitoes, nor do they eat them. Some people call them “mosquito eaters” which is a misnomer. Infact, after they are adults, Crane flies don’t actually eat at all!
These long legged, tan slender flies are just a nuisance once they reach adulthood. Only survive about 2 weeks which is just long enough to mate and for the female to lay her 275 eggs into the soil in late August and into September.
Crane flies are most active in spring and fall when eggs are hatching and adults are emerging. The crane fly offspring can wreak havoc on one’s lawn simply by eating at the roots and crown of the grass. This can cause brown spots and if left untreated can eventually damage the lawn. An increase of rain or dampness can create a larger infestation of crane fly larvae within the soil that hatch and feed on the grass roots. Nymphs nest in moist areas throughout the lawn. Fortunately, the adult crane flies don’t do any damage. They emerge, mate, lay eggs, and fly around attracted to light until they die.
Lawn insect treatments can help eliminate and kill the eggs and larvae of crane flies and other lawn insects.
The fall army worm is a moth that has a complete life cycle (4 stages), and one of those is the Fall Army Worm. This is it’s larval stage and it’s most destructive stage. This larval stage is when you will see damage to a lawn. This is the “dinner time!” stage. Do you know that teenager that you are shoveling food into them like a garbage truck? They are also in the larval stage and it seems they are eating for an army. Lots of similarities there.
Fall army worm’s larvae are most damaging in their last 10 days of the larvae stage. Eating the grass blades of your lawn, these surface eater worms are most active in late summer/early fall. They are most visible in late evening and early morning on top of the grass chowing down. If you’re unable to tell if you have fall army worms but are seeing brown patches throughout your lawn, you can water your lawn and that generally brings the worms to the surface. Your lawn may also look like a bunch of little needles instead of grass blades. They will eat the blade but not the vein in the center of the blade.
This type of worm has 4 stages of life. Egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. During the pupa stage, the fall army worm is molting into a moth. These moths only live a few weeks. From egg to adult is approximately 4 weeks and total life cycle is roughly 6 weeks. Eggs are laid under blades of grass or plant bases where they will hatch in less than a week and begin feeding on the grass. The female can lay thousands of eggs before dying.
Lawns can come back after a fall army worm attack but it may take several weeks, plenty of water, and lawn treatments. It’s best to treat your lawn as soon as you suspect fall army worm to avoid further damage. Lawn maintenance is also essential to avoiding a possible attack.
1. Mow lawn on a regular basis. 3-3.5” is recommended
2. Keep weeds out or to a minimum. Routine herbicide treatments will help in this process
3. Fertilize. Keep lawn healthy and full
4. Aerate the soil. This allows the lawn to absorb water and breathe easier
5. keeping lawn insects to a minimum
6. Spot check lawn on a regular basis for any insects or insect damage. Most noticeable signs are brown patches, thinning areas, needle grass, and visible evidence of lawn pests.
Remember, lawn insects and pests are capable of destroying or damaging a lawn in a matter of days.
Chiggers have a 4 stage lifecycle, but only larval stage can bite you. During the later stages they are full of blood and looking to lay some more eggs.
These tiny red mites resemble a tick but are too small to see with the naked eye unless they are in a large cluster. Chiggers are mostly found in weedy thick areas of an unkept lawn. They thrive in shady moist areas. This is because the larvae of a chigger can dehydrate easily.
Chiggers do bite and can live on a human host for about 3 days. Fortunately, they do not embed themselves into the flesh like a tick. Red itchy bumps, much like a mosquito bite, will appear several hours after bite.
The larvae of a chigger, is the only stage of life that bites. Eggs are deposited on the ground, usually in leaf piles or lawn debris, so when the eggs hatch, they have a better chance of finding a blood host from someone or something walking by. After about 3 days, the larvae will jump off and retreat to the soil to molt into a nymph and shortly thereafter, an adult chigger. Nymph and adult chiggers do not bite but will feed on plant leaves, grass, and other insects. Fortunately, they do not embed themselves into the flesh. Red itchy bumps, much like a mosquito bite, will appear several hours after bite.
To keep chiggers out:
1. Keep yard free of debris
2. Mow grass regularly
3. Keep lawn weed free
4. Trim trees and foliage
5. Keep shaded areas from retaining too much moisture
6. Apply lawn insect pesticide treatments
Springtails are an interesting little insect. They can appear after a series of heavy rain that just soaks the lawn and keeps it that way. Springtails need a lot of moisture to keep the population going. There can be as many as 50,000 springtails in a single cubic foot of soil.
Often mistaken for fleas in a lawn, springtails are a tiny brown to black insect that has the jumping characteristic of a flea. Springtails are active year-round and prefer cooler temperatures. Female springtails lay their eggs in moist soil that will hatch in approximately 21 days. Before nymph springtails reach adulthood, they go through up to 8 molts over about 6 weeks. Once they hit their adult stage, they don’t live much past 2 weeks. Just long enough for the female to gather the male’s sperm capsule that has been deposited in the soil, and lay eggs.
Springtails can be found in grassy lawns, compost soil, mulch, decaying wood, and leaf litter. Their diet consists of decaying plants, fungus, and algae. You may see them on top of standing or stagnant water, similar to mosquitoes. Springtails are harmless and don’t bite. More of a nuisance, they do chew on grass and plant roots but don’t generally do major damage. Drying out a lawn will help de-hydrate springtails but for best results, a lawn insect treatment will rid your lawn of springtails.
Ticks have a 4 stage lifecycle, or “complete” lifecycle. This can take up to 36 months or 3 years to complete. We treat ticks with a liquid treatment for your lawn. One treatment is all you need. Just make sure you also treat your animals so they don’t reinfest and waste your money!
Ticks aren’t just for animals. Ticks can also latch onto people and use them as a blood host. Brushing up against garden shrubs or lawn weeds, a tick can transfer onto an animal or human from these areas. They do this by stretching out one set of legs up and out in the air so they can latch onto un unsuspecting, passing animal. Ticks can be found on the outer lining of a lawn hiding in moist weeded or tall grassy areas. Tall grass and weeds give ticks shelter from the sun. Hot and dry conditions cause a tick to dehydrate so moist shady spots allow them to re-hydrate.
Ticks can survive almost a year and a half without a blood meal but need at least one blood meal during each cycle of life.
The common brown dog tick has an easy life. Once their egg hatches and they emerge they begin searching for a dog host to nurse on for their first blood meal. This usually lasts no more than a week; at which time they have grown and their body color has changed from a pale color to now blue. They then go hide out to molt into the next stage of life where they will become reddish-brown nymphs. The nymphs repeat the feeding process for a week and a half before sneaking away again to molt into an adult. Once the brown tick has reached adulthood it returns to a dog host and if they can get away with it, they feed for as little as a week up to 6 weeks.
Adult ticks will mate, and the female will lay her eggs on top of the soil. Often, they will be laid in places that are well traveled by animals so when they hatch, they can latch on to a host. Once she has completed laying her thousands of eggs, her job is complete, and she dies.
Ticks are most active in spring and again in late summer/early fall. They are also known to carry diseases such as Rocky Mountain Fever and Lyme disease.
To keep ticks out of your yard:
1. Clean all debris and leaf litter
2. Mow lawn to a height of 3-3.5”
3. Keep lawn weed free
4. Schedule lawn insect pesticide treatments
Measuring in at only 1/6” in length, chinch bugs can sure do some damage on a lawn. These sap sucking insects are partial to St. Augustine grass but can often be found in Bermuda and zoysia grasses also. While chinch nymphs are feeding on the grass roots below, the adults are sucking out the fluids and injecting a toxin from above ground on the grass blades and stems. This toxin will turn the blades of grass yellow and brown before the area of grass dies.
Chinch bugs are most active late spring to early fall and prefer the hot, dry areas of a lawn. If left untreated, a chinch bug infestation can kill a lawn in a week or two (depending on the size of lawn and infestation).
Chinch bugs have a quick growing life cycle. Once the eggs are laid, it can take less than a month to hatch. In some cases, the eggs can hatch in 1 week if temperatures are above 70 degrees. Nymph chinch bugs are fully mature by July and can begin to mate and create another generation almost immediately.
Due to the size of the chinch bug, it is often hard to see them until it’s too late. Taking a large can (such as a coffee can) with both ends open, you can push the can into the ground into an infected area and fill the can with water. If chinch bugs are present, they will surface to the top of the water and you will see tiny black bugs with white wings. It’s best to border the can against an infected area and non-infected area for best results.
Chinch bugs do not go away on their own. Lawn insect treatments are recommended. Damage to a lawn from chinch bugs will take time to recover. With watering, fertilizing, lawn maintenance, and lawn insect treatments, your lawn can make a full recovery.
Call the Lawn Insect Experts at Safe Earth Pest Control
As a locally owned and family operated residential pest control company based out of Rockwall, we service many long-term and referral customers throughout Rockwall, Rowlett, Royce City, Mesquite, Garland, and Dallas.
Our quick service, reasonable rates, and flexibility make us the most convenient option for a healthy, happy lawn year-round!
We Offer Free Lawn Weed and Insect Inspections!
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