Hills and holes: Not part of your
by L. J. Bruton
Do pests 'gopher' your lawn? Chances are, if you have
a lawn, you risk the chance of having pests, such as the
gopher and his cousin the mole. And, perhaps even those
pesky six-legged creatures- ants and other insects- call
your grass patches home. Why are these animals and insects
attracted to your lawn? And, what can you do to stop them
from burrowing and nesting? Those answers and more will
follow in this article.
Most household lawns are not large enough to attract so
many pests that a serious problem will result, but nonetheless,
they can be a nuisance and cause some minor damage to
your grassy nook. Insects are not very easy to spot, as
some are so small they are naked to the eye, however,
they can be identified by dead, brown patches of grass.
Telltale signs of moles and gophers are a little more
obvious- dirt hills on the top of your lawn, and beneath
them, tunnels and holes. Once you identify that you have
pests, you then need to decide the best way for you to
take care of the problem.
The first option is to call an expert. Use your local
directory or a referral from someone you know that had
a similar problem. But if you are like most people today,
you may want to do it yourself. And, if you are a DIYer,
the first thing you need to do is size up your situation,
and what you are up against. Let's look at insects first.
When dealing with insects, the first thing you must realize
is that not all insects are bad guys. Sure, we probably
would swat at them all, but in reality, some insects can
actually act as exterminators against others. Other insects
can actually help control your thatch level. There are
two types of insects when it comes to the ones who invade
your lawn: above and below ground insects. Above ground
insects usually feed on your grass, and can be seen fairly
easy. Some examples of these can be chinch bugs, green
bugs and armyworms.
The below ground insects are just that, they feed on your
lawn through the root system, which means they are the
most destructive of the two. They are also the most difficult
to identify since they are not easily seen. These can
include grubs, beetle larvae and billbugs. There are literally
thousands of species of insects, far too many to list
here. You could borrow a book on insects from your local
library, or check out some entomology websites to learn
more about what roles and functions they have. After all,
you don't want to kill off any allies!
There are five basic types of treatment for anthills and
other insects: chemical insecticides, biological insecticides,
botanical insecticides, insecticide soaps and predatory
insects (remember- some are your friend!). There may also
be specific types for specific insects. Weigh each option
and choose which one fits your needs the best.
Moles and gophers are two of the most common animal pests,
and due to striking similarities they are often confused.
Both animals build tunnels under your lawns, but that
does not mean they are the same. These two have many things
that set them apart from one another. Moles are smaller
than gophers, and have pointed snouts and large front
claws. They do not feed on your lawn, but the insects
that dwell within. Sounds like they are helping you with
the insects? Maybe, but the moles' tunnels leave mounds
of dirt on the ground above, and their shallow tunnels
cause uneven ground.
Gophers, the largest of the pesky pair, have buckteeth
and small ears. These creatures love to dine on your grass
and plant roots. Gophers also leave mounds of dirt, but
they do far more damage underground, causing sinkholes.
While your green may not encompass as many acres of the
turf in the movie Caddyshack, they can cause just as much
recurring trouble. Getting rids of gophers and moles leads
to one grand solution- killing them. There are also more
conventional methods, such as traps.
The best way to deal with pests though is to perhaps not
have them at all. This can be achieved by taking preventative
measures in your lawn. But of course, nature has a mind
of its own!
About the Author
For hundreds of other tips for creating your own perfect
lawn, be sure to visit:
How to Start and Run a Landscape
& Garden Maintenance Business
Article by Jack Stone
Copyright © 2003 by ProGardenBiz
Own your business, own your job, own your life.
Statistics show that nine out of every ten new businesses
Most of these businesses fail within the first year. The
don't make it past their third anniversary. Given such
odds why would you want to start a landscaping or