If you live in Southwest Florida, you may come across a variety of pests and critters that may threaten the integrity of your lawn. However, knowing what to look for and which pests you may encounter can help you combat them in the future and ensure that your lawn stays strong and healthy. Today, we will go over a few of the pests you may stumble upon and what you can do to keep them at bay as much as possible.
Fire ant colonies contain ants that are between 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch in length and typically brown to red in color. They are active throughout the year in Southwest Florida. This area allows for the ideal environment where fire ants can thrive. The region is warm and humid and has an annual rainfall of at least 10 inches or more. To spot a fire ant colony in your yard, look for a dome-shaped mound on the ground. You should see ants quickly come out of the mound to protect their home when it is disturbed. You want to avoid getting stung by fire ants because you may experience an allergic reaction to their venom.
These are small mammals that are around 6 inches in length. They have dark or gray fur and a pointed muzzle. Their eyes are very sensitive to different changes in the light, and their legs are small but powerful as they are used to tunneling underground. Moles remain active all year round in Southwest Florida. If you suspect that there’s a mole infestation in your yard, look for mounds of dirt also known as molehills. They tend to feed on grubs as well, so if you have those in your yard, moles will surely be able to thrive there. They can easily burrow through plant roots and cause extensive damage to one’s property.
As mentioned before, grubs are one of the primary sources of food for moles. They are approximately 1/4 inch to 2 inches in length, but this varies depending on their age. They are white in color and are another pest that can be found in Florida any time of the year. May and June are their peak months as their larvae begin hatching. Grubs are quick to damage a lawn. If you think that you might have a grub infestation on your hands, look for yellow patches of grass that appear damaged. You may also notice brown patches scattered throughout the yard.
Whiteflies (Rugose Spiraling Whitefly)
These pests are making a comeback in areas within Southwest Florida. Whiteflies can cause extensive damage to palm trees as well as properties. When these pests attack palm trees, the trees try to combat them by producing a black, sooty mold. If you use nitrogen-rich fertilizer, you may end up dealing with excessive leafy plant growth, which creates the ideal environment for a whitefly infestation. Whiteflies have small, oval bodies. They do not have any wings, legs, or antennae that are apparent. Adults emerging from mature nymphs, however, are winged and closely resemble small moths in appearance. GreenEdge has advanced treatment programs that make use of the ArborJet Tree Injection system to effectively control Spiraling Whitefly infestations)
These pests are in Southwest Florida because the area boasts a warm climate and an abundance of greenhouse plants, house plants, and subtropical trees. Mealybugs are soft-bodied and winged insects. They appear as small, white masses on the leaves, stems, and fruits of plants and trees and resemble cotton. Mealybugs are considered a common household pest, and they can easily spread from plant to plant if you do not get rid of them right away. They can travel inside the home via outdoor plants and infested plants you get from a nursery. If you think you have an infestation of any of these Southwest Florida pests, you must take corrective measures to stop the problem before any damage can be done to your property.
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