Lawn and Landscape
No time to do it yourself? If you decide to hire a lawn care company, you should be aware of the practices and products they are using on your grounds, why and when. After all, you are paying them AND you and your family will be rolling around on that lawn.
Note: Do not be tempted to spread broad-spectrum insecticides over your lawn on a calendar basis as "insurance" against all bugs. "Big Sale" ads in spring and fall have more to do with store inventory and spring fever than with real pest problems. Broad spectrum insecticides will kill far more "good bugs" in your lawn that are working overtime keeping pest species in check while you sleep! You will create more pest problems than you solve by this approach, contribute to contamination of surface water runoff and kill non-target organisms. Target only the pest you know you have, when you have it, causing actual significant damage.
IPM Tips for the Home Lawn & Landscape (Adapted from NY IPM)
- Grow pest-resistant varieties of plants, shrubs, and trees. Choices should also be well suited to soil and climate.
- Grow healthy plants. Pay attention to organic matter, watering, and other conditions for healthy plants.
- Avoid injury to tree trunks (from mowers, weed whackers) that enable pests to gain footholds; lay mulch at tree bases.
- To combat weeds, maintain an adequately fertilized lawn; hand dig weeds; spot-treat.
- Use selective pesticides. These will kill only your target pest while leaving non-target species unharmed.
- Encourage beneficial insects--which kill pests--by growing large, showy composite flowers for them to land on and feed (such as Queen Anne's lace, daisies, fennel, dill) and by limiting pesticide applications.
- Clean up plant debris at the season's end and destroy diseased plant materials.