Florida's fertile environment means that it is relatively easy to grow a lush, beautiful lawn. Unfortunately, it also means that there are lots of insect species that are ready and waiting to devastate susceptible lawns. If you would like to learn more about how to manage the risk of insect damage for your lawn, read on. This article will offer three useful tips.
The best way to keep insect pests from ravaging your lawn is to be vigilant about inspecting for signs of infestations. The most important thing to keep an eye out for, of course, are insect outbreaks—areas where insects and their larva are clearly proliferating.
Yet it is important to realize that it won't always be easy to detect the signs of an insect infestation. In that case, important clues can be derived from watching the grass itself. Look for areas where the grass seems to be mysteriously turning brown or where it shows signs of being chewed down or altered by insect activity.
Don't Over Fertilize
Many people assume that regularly fertilizing their lawn will help to keep it healthy, reducing the risk of insect infestations. Unfortunately, this tactic can easily backfire if you over apply fertilizer. That's because many insect species specifically target young and fast growing parts of plants. By adding large quantities of fertilizer, you will encourage your grass to begin growing at accelerated and even abnormal rates, thus providing hungry insects with a veritable feast.
For this reason, it is important that you never exceed the recommended doses of fertilizer. Likewise, try to select a slow-release fertilizer. Such fertilizers are less likely to provoke the kind of growth spurt that can fuel an insect infestation. Instead, by slowly diffusing their nutrients into the ground, these fertilizers will encourage a normal—yet healthy—growth rate.
Keep Your Mower In Good Shape
There is no denying that healthy grass will have a better degree of tolerance to both diseases and insect pests. A key way to ensure such good health is to keep your grass cut to a reasonable level. Yet no matter how vigilant you are about mowing your lawn, you may be encouraging problems to form if your lawnmower itself is not in good shape.
The problem here has to do with the lawnmower's blades. If the blades are too dull, they will not cleanly cut the grass. Rather they will rip and tear it. This type of damage is much more stressful to the grass, thus putting it at a greater disadvantage where pests are concerned. Be sure to have your mower blades sharpened on a regular basis to avoid this issue.