Lady bugs, lady beetles and stink bugs
Lady bugs (lady beetles) and stink bugs fall into the category of “occasional invaders.” This means they aren’t really bothersome until they infest your home.
Seeing a few lady bugs, lady beetles or stink bugs around your home isn’t a big deal until you have an infestation.
Lady beetle or lady bug?
Around North Mississippi and Tennessee, you usually see Asian Lady Beetles. These Lady beetles are slightly different from what most of us refer to as “ladybugs”.
Asian Lady Beetles often appear when the weather cools. They congregate on the side of a house by the hundreds or thousands. If Lady beetles can find an entry point into your home, they will make their way inside.
Lady bugs are generally considered to be helpful insects. When ladybugs or lady beetles are found on a crape myrtle, they typically have laid hundreds of eggs right in middle of the aphids.
As soon as the eggs hatch, they begin feasting on the aphids. Ladybugs can rescue a crape myrtle and even a crop from aphids when the timing is right!
In order to protect themselves from predators, ladybugs secrete a fluid from the joints in their legs. This secretion is unappealing to predators and smells really bad to humans.
In an infestation of lady bugs, many homeowners experience staining on walls from the secreted fluid. Some people are even allergic to the dust from their crumbling shells.
While stink bugs have never been depicted as “cute” like lady bugs, they are also not much of a problem until an infestation occurs.
Much like the lady beetles, stink bugs produce a foul odor and are best swept up and safely thrown away.
How do you define infestation?
A sudden increase in destructiveness or population numbers of a pest species in a given area.
When their numbers and impact are currently or potentially at intolerable levels.
First, check out what is happening outside your home.
- Repair cracks around windows and doors
- Repair torn window or door screens
- Remove piles of branches and leaves in your lawn
- Eliminate areas where water collects
Now see what’s happening inside your home:
- Check under sinks for leaking pipes and repair.
- If you discover a building infestation, vacuum up lady bugs, lady beetles and stink bugs and throw them away.
If you are beyond that solution, Lawn and Pest can help.
In addition to “occasional invaders” we are also here to protect your home from termites, roaches, ants and more. Our licensed pest technicians will thoroughly spray inside and outside of your home on a regular schedule to ensure this problem is taken care of now and later.
Our website has a user-friendly app to leave your messages with our office. Leave us a message and let us show you #thelpsdifference .
Treating Fire Ants
Fire ants are hard working, organized and even dangerous to some. Treating fire ants is not easy.
Sometimes their mounds are mistaken for dirt, making them even trickier to tackle. Here is what to know and how to treat a fire ant problem.
Identifying a fire ant mound
A fire ant mound is raised and looks like a pile of aerated dirt. This is the displaced soil from the ants digging tunnels underground.
Fire ants create amazing and expansive tunnels underground. These are for escaping should anyone or anything dare to disturb the mound. Underground tunnels contain the eggs and larvae of the colony, along with countless worker ants.
Don’t do this when treating fire ants
When you disturb a fire ant mound, you might be shocked by the hundreds or thousands of ants that come rushing out. The agitated ants will bite and sting anyone nearby.
Dangers of fire ants
One fire ant bite will sting a little, though it is more common to be stung multiple times by multiple fire ants. Blisters that develop afterward fire ant stings are allergic reactions, though some people develop more severe reactions.
Areas immediately surrounding the sting may swell, burn, or itch. These stings and/or allergic reactions to the stings can be very dangerous to our children and our pets, especially if they are allergic.
Should you DIY this?
While there are plenty of DIY fire ant “solutions” you can try, most are just chasing them around underneath your lawn. The best way to fight fire ants is with a bait system.
A bait system does not disturb the mounds. When the mound is disturbed, fire ants get angry.
With a bait system, fire ants get the bait and return to their underground system of tunnels. They then “share” the bait with the army below your lawn.
Target the queen
Our efficient and effective treatments target the queen, not just the mound. In just two strategically timed bait applications, we typically wipe out 95% of your fire ants.
We will visit two more times per year just to assess the effectiveness or apply more bait (if needed) at no extra charge.
Give us a call or click here and we will send out a licensed technician for treating your fire ant issues! We serve the North Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee areas with lawn and pest services.
Crape Myrtle Bark Scale
Crape Myrtle Bark Scale is a type of insect/pest that attaches itself to the trunk of a Crape Myrtle tree. When looking at photos, it is hard to tell exactly what you are seeing.
Before you see the pest, you will probably first notice black areas forming on the trunk or branches of your tree.
Bark scale covers parts of the Crape Myrtle tree with a black, sticky soot-like substance. Untreated, it will eventually cover all of the tree.
Is Bark Scale a plant, a growth or a pest?
It’s a pest! The actual pest (called Bark Scale) is a flat, light gray or white pest that feels like felt. If you press on the Bark Scale and it oozes a pink substance, it is active.
According to Clemson University, Crape Myrtle Bark Scale was first found in Texas in 2004. It has now spread across the South as far across as North Carolina.
How does Bark Scale do the damage?
Crape Myrtle Bark Scale causes sidewalks, driveways, shrubs, flowers, fences, garbage cans, pools, and toys under your trees to turn black. Everything under the infected tree will get a black, moldy, sooty stain.
How to look for Bark Scale
Crape Myrtle Bark Scale typically gathers in the branch crotches or at pruning areas, also under loose bark. As it takes over, the scale begins to literally suck the life (sap) from your tree.
The thick, black moldy soot will cover the tree and begin raining down onto everything underneath the tree.
Should you treat it?
For some, the black sooty mold that covers your trees and everything underneath is more cause for concern than tree health. Deciding to treat for this pest may come down to you deciding to protect the investment you have made in your trees, landscape, and property.
What if you decide not to treat it?
- In addition to being unattractive, the black mold prevents sunlight from reaching the tree.
- Bark Scale will most likely affect the number of flowers on your tree.
- The size of flower clusters and overall vigor in the plant health of your Crape Myrtle trees may also suffer.
- Crape Myrtle Bark Scale may even cause your trees to flower later than healthy trees.
How is Crape Myrtle Bark Scale treated?
Treatment starts by systemically injecting treatment at the roots of the trees. This will slowly and methodically begin treating the entire tree and ridding it of the pest.
In addition to the systemic treatment, we spray the entire tree with a growth regulator. This doesn’t improve the growth of the tree, it speeds up the process of getting rid of the Bark Scale.
In the fall, Lawn and Pest Solutions applies dormant oil to the affected tree. This oil smothers and eliminates any remaining insects on the tree except those which are beneficial to the tree (like ladybugs).
Each year afterwards, we do an annual systemic treatment as a preventative to keep the CMBS from returning. This treatment also has lawn fertilization which will help your Crape Myrtle thrive in the future.
Even if you don’t have Bark Scale now you might consider this preventative treatment.
Crape Myrtles are some of the most beautiful flowering trees we have in the South. These majestic trees enhance our properties, parks, cities, and lawns.
Our licensed technicians are trained in recognizing and guiding you in the right direction for treatment and/or prevention. We treat Crape Myrtles in the Memphis, Tennessee area and all over North Mississippi.
Local versus national pest control
Google “local pest control” first
When deciding between a local or a national pest company, try reading the Google reviews. You might notice that our customers frequently refer to our employees by name in the reviews. You won’t find that when you google the “big guys.”
Thanks to big budgets, national marketing and branding, some nationally recognized companies have successfully made their names a fixture.
Why choose a local pest control company?
- A local pest control company may be able to charge you less for the same services.
- We live here, too. A local company will be well aware of all the seasonal pest infestations that are happening where YOU are, not where “THEY” are.
- A local pest control company can work with your schedules and needs, not what “corporate” tells them to do.
We are a locally owned pest control business.
Working with a locally owned business like Lawn and Pest Solutions means that you are getting very personal service. We work hard to retain our employees for years so that customer relationships are solid and built on trust.
Who is that man at my door?
Our pest technicians are trustworthy, honest, hardworking and loyal. We don’t send in “fly by night” employees to spray inside your home. You won’t be worried to see our guys spraying in your lawn or on your patio.
In addition to providing reliable technicians, our owner Paul Welborn feels personally responsible for each customer. It is not uncommon for him to show up at a home to help solve an unusual pest issue. He is committed to making sure the customer gets the best possible service.
Whether loading up trucks at 6:45 a.m. or frying up fish at employee appreciation day, Paul is there. Creating personal relationships with his employees and investing in their futures is important to Paul. He believes that qualified trained technicians who want to stay with the company is key to keeping customers happy.
When the company sees itself as a team, everyone benefits, including the customers. This is why it is important to choose a local pest control company over a national one.
We provide outstanding customer service and stand behind our programs. We serve the North Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee areas with outstanding pest control. Contact our office 24/7 to get a very fast response and outstanding service.
Grubs, Moles and Armadillos
What do grubs, moles and armadillos have in common? As with most pests, it’s all about their next meal. In an interesting twist, armadillos and moles like to eat grubs!
If you are having a problem with moles or armadillos destroying your lawn, it’s because they have found their food source (grubs) in your yard.
With their favorite food found in your yard, moles and armadillos will dig in and set up a home underneath your lawn.
The problem with grubs
Grubs hatch in your lawn when beetles lay their eggs there. They are white, soft and have legs up near their heads. Grubs eat on the roots of your lawn causing patches to turn brown and die.
Untreated grubs grow up to become beetles. The cycle continues as they lay more eggs in your lawn. The best time to treat for grubs is mid to late summer and early fall (now).
How to look for signs of grubs
- Look for spongy grass and brown patches.
- Pull up a piece of the brown turf.
- If the turf comes up easily like a piece of carpet (with no roots attached), grubs have been feeding there.
Signs of Moles
Moles live underground and create tunnels in your yard. They are small and have paddle-like feet that help them dig under your lawn.
Moles usually leave a small mound of soil as their “entrance” to the underground. The tunneling of moles under your lawn is destructive to the roots of your turf.
Six Armadillo facts:
- Armadillos will destroy your lawn looking for grubs, earthworms, food.
- Armadillos thrive in warm, moist climates
- Armadillos prefer loose and porous soil
- Armadillos live underground, specifically under your lawn
- Armadillos are nocturnal and forage for food at night
- Armadillo quadruplets become independent at around 6 months, so they multiply quickly.
First things first. Remove the grubs.
If you are suspicious that you may have moles or armadillos, look for grubs. If you find them, you need help.
Our licensed lawn technicians can evaluate your situation. We answer your calls promptly. In fact, our website has an instant chat that can get you the quickest service possible. Look for it in the bottom right corner of our website at Lawn and Pest Solutions.
We serve Memphis, Tennessee and all of North Mississippi. Let us help you in the battle against whatever may be digging a tunnel under your yard!
The best way to bug proof your home
The best way to bug proof your home is by keeping bugs from ever entering your home. A tidy home and yard also help keep bugs away.
A consistent program like our Lawn and Pest Solutions Pest360 can “seal the deal” as they say.
From the outside in
A bug proof home happens as the result of a team effort. The best professional treatment won’t work if we aren’t “all in this together”.
Outside the house
- If you have firewood stacked next to your home, get it off the ground and move it a few feet away from the house.
- Clean up debris from your yard. Piles of sticks, limbs and leaves are gathering places for bugs and other pests.
- If there are any limbs, vines or branches touching your home, remove them. These create a corridor for bugs and other undesirable critters to get into your roof or home.
- Repair any small holes, cracks or tears in window screens, under doors or windows. Bugs are tiny and can get in the smallest access points.
Inside the house
- Shut your windows and doors, all the way. Gaping doors and unscreened windows will allow ANYTHING to get in your home.
- Check the space behind your washing machine and refrigerator where water lines come in. These are very easy entry points for bugs to get in your home.
- Vacuum away cobwebs.
- Run your garbage disposal frequently.
What are bugs looking for inside my home?
- 1. Water: Leaky faucets or sources of water are popular gathering spots for bugs. Look under your sink, washing machine, and refrigerator. Any place where water runs from outside to inside is a hot spot.
- Food. Rinse and put away dirty dishes in the sink. Sweep up pet food that scatters on the floor. Keep pet food in sealed containers.
Contact Lawn and Pest Solutions in New Albany, MS and as a team, we will work to bug-proof your home. Hire our local bed bug exterminators to protect your home from unwanted guests. Our licensed pest technicians will show up promptly and treat your house the same they would their own. We serve neighborhoods and businesses from Memphis, Tennessee and all over North Mississippi.
Nutgrass (nutsedge) is a persistent weed. Not to cause confusion, but in our region, most refer to it as nutgrass but it IS a sedge.
Nutgrass is so persistent it can be recommended for ground cover. For some, as a lawn replacement! Who wants their lawn replaced by a weed?
What’s the difference between grasses and sedges?
Remember this phrase, “sedges have edges.” Sedge feels triangular instead of round and smooth. It has a center “crease” or fold that makes it have a “v” shape.
How it spreads:
The way nutgrass reproduces is through underground tubers (also called “nutlets”). These extensive root systems can reach up to four feet deep.
Don’t pull up nutgrass, it only causes spreading.
When does it spread?
Nutgrass outbreaks usually occur during and after really wet springs, especially in lawns with poor drainage.
Later in the summer when drought conditions exist, the persistent nutgrass or nutsedge continues to thrive.
By summer, the roots are so deep and established that they can survive almost anything.
It’s not going away without work.
Nutgrass survives because it beats out your grass for water and nutrients. While underground, nutlets can survive for up to 10 years before emerging again.
Buried at depths up to four feet, they are protected from cold weather and common treatments for killing nutgrass.
How bad can it be?
A study conducted by the Mississippi State Extension service measured the effects of nutsedge or nutgrass on a sweet potato crop. If just a little nutgrass has devastating effects on a crop, imagine what it does when it takes over your lawn!
We can help
Our licensed technicians can evaluate your lawn and use the correct treatments to treat current outbreaks of weeds and prevent them from ever taking root.
Wasps pack a pretty tough punch when they sting you, but they don’t die afterward.
If you encounter a wasp…
- When you see a wasp, don’t start swatting. Be calm and move away.
- If a wasp is indoors, open windows and doors and allow it to get out.
Bees versus Wasps
We know now to “save the bees”, but wasps are another story. While wasps don’t pollinate plants, they do help us out by eating other insects.
How do you tell the difference between a bee and a wasp? Bees are “husky” and wasps are “slim.” Bees are “hairy” and wasps are smooth.
Wasps nests are generally found around loose piles of wood, under porches and along rafters. Beware of wasps in empty cans, buckets and boxes that are rarely used.
Wasp nests are generally designed by the queen in the spring and they grow all spring and early summer. By August, the nests are at their peak size and the wasps are at their most aggressive.
DIY wasp control
The end of summer is not the best time to get rid of a wasp nest on your own. If you have waited until August, either get the help of a professional or just avoid stirring them up.
Wait and let the frost get them, then get rid of the nests so they don’t move back in next spring. If you are a self-declared wasp hunter, start looking for them early in the year and destroy the nests (and the queen) before they grow and get really angry.
5 steps for wasp prevention:
- Remove abandoned nests in winter
- Seal gaps in your home
- Eliminate loose piles of wood and refuse in your yard
- Clean up rotten fruit under fruit trees
- Keep outdoor garbage tightly sealed
If you have wasp issues, call Lawn and Pest Solutions, a professional pest service. Our licensed pest technicians can assess the situation and handle it promptly and safely.
We serve the Memphis, TN and North Mississippi region. Give us a call and avoid wasps, hornets, bees, and other angry pests!