Ticks, mosquitoes, deer, beetles, caterpillars, mice— the list of landscape pests can go on and on.
We’re here to pique your interest and share some interesting (and somewhat scary) facts about some of Massachusetts most common lawn pests.
Ready to be wowed? Check out these five things you probably didn’t know about the pests that affect your local neighborhood:
1. Lawn voles do not hibernate— they remain active day and night, all year long.
Lawn voles are small rodents which look similar to mice, with blunt noses. These furry critters can cause Massachusetts homeowners quite the headache, as they feed on grass, and the seeds, roots, stems and leaves of plants— even bark! Lawn voles also can wear running paths throughout your lawn, creating unsightly streaking across your turf.
These pests steal your plant bulbs, damage tree roots (often affecting flowering or fruit production) and dig holes in your yard. In fact, one of the reasons it’s so hard to get rid of voles is that they can travel underground, destroying all root systems in their path. Worst of all, they’re little powerhouses— active every day, and producing offspring every 21 days. Hop over to our other blog to learn about how to get rid of or deter lawn voles from your lawn, or consult one of our landscape experts.
2. A German cockroach can have 48 babies, every 6 weeks.
Although there are about 3,500 species of cockroach in the world, the German cockroach is the most common species found in apartments or homes. One single mama German roach can lay a capsule containing up to 48 eggs— every six weeks— up to eight times in their lives, according to research by Penn State University.
Because of female German roaches’ insane ability to produce and create dozens of offspring (who also produce!), these little buggers can create an army of large, winged crawlers. Not only is the sheer number intimidating, but this type of cockroach has been known to carry disease-producing organisms like bacteria and viruses, which can cause food poisoning or sickness if the bug or their excretions get into your food. Yuck! Protecting your landscape from these roaches can help to ward them away from your grass, garage, and home.
3. You can repel ticks from your yard, naturally, with oils like eucalyptus, neem, citronella and more.
The last thing you want to do is have to check your children and pets for ticks after playing in the yard. These little pests carry a long list of infectious viruses and illnesses, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and anaplasmosis. Unfortunately, these blood-suckers are often a big problem for many Massachusetts homeowners. But there’s actually a number of ways you can naturally deter ticks, without the need for chemicals.
Much like blood-sucking vampires, ticks aren’t a fan of garlic. Plant a few bulbs in your garden to scare them off. They’re also not hip on the oils mentioned above, so consider mixing some into a spray bottle with water and misting your plants. While you’re on a kick, lay down cedar mulch or cedar wood chips, which ticks avoid for both the texture and smell. Read our other post on natural tick repellent tips to learn more. If ticks are really persistent, our team at Green Sphere can lay down an organic treatment to keep them away— which is safe for your family and landscape.
4. Not all insects lay eggs on or chew leaves, some destroy your trees from the inside out.
You may think you know how to identify an insect problem: you see the critters flying/crawling around, spot nests or eggs and see holes nibbled out of your leaves. While many bugs can be outed in this way, some pests are more sneaky: like the Emerald Ash Borer. This metallic green beetle lays its larvae inside of Ash trees, and the insects devour the tree from the inside out.
In Massachusetts specifically, these beetles are a big problem in Newburyport and Boxford. They can live inside of your Ash tree for years, slowly sucking away its life. Oftentimes, homeowners don’t catch the infection until it’s much too late, and the tree is no longer saveable. If you notice the leaves of your Ash tree falling off or see D-shaped exit holes on your tree (from where adult beetles crawled out when the larvae matured), act quickly. Learn more about the Emerald Ash Borer and our region’s most common tree bugs to stop them. Oftentimes, tree injections are the only solution.
5. Mosquitos lay eggs in shallow water or damp soil.
Fun fact: if you were bit by a mosquito on your lawn, it was a female! Only the lady mosquitoes bite people, needing to consume blood to lay eggs; males are just fine sucking plants. These female pests prefer to nestle their eggs in water, or very moist soil. By eliminating standing pools of water— bye bye bird bath!— or improving your landscape irrigation system, you can help to deter these blood-suckers.
This is especially important, as mosquitos are considered “the world’s most deadliest animal.” That’s right. Mosquitoes surpassed scary beasts like tigers and bears because of their ability to spread serious, life-threatening diseases like Malaria and Zika, through animal and human populations across the world. While some natural deterrents can work, oftentimes, properties near bodies of water need the help of a mosquito control program to keep these disease-ridden pests away.
The Pest Control Your Landscape Needs
These troublesome insects and creatures can eat your plants and trees, spread diseases and cost you a whole lot of money and stress to get rid of.
Keep them away with the help of a pest control specialist. Our team at Green Sphere has the solutions you need to ward off even the most persistent nuisances!