Since we have had absolutely no snow covering the ground over the past few winter months, experienced a fairly steady rise in soil temperatures recently and have had only occasional rainfall, you can be fairly certain that your Chicago area lawn will have little chance of suffering through a gray snow mold outbreak for this 2017 spring season.
Gray snow mold is an early spring season turfgrass disease that usually occurs shortly after a cold and snowy winter. Normally begins when soil temperatures warm well before any/all lingering snow cover melts away.
Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions or assistance you may need for this 2017 growing season and beyond. Thank you for visiting!
Now that the snow has finally melted and warmer temperatures are upon us, many lawns are showing signs of a common fungal disease called snow mold (gray snow mold in particular). Snow mold occurs when spring conditions allow warm unfrozen ground that was recently covered by melting snow to activate an existing pathogen. The issues start when a pathogen is present, spring temperatures are between 30-40 F and the soil/turfgrass is fairly saturated. Snow mold may be found in lawn areas where drainage and air-movement is poor and especially where snow has been piled and/or is slow to melt. Damage can be as minimal as just a few small circular shaped yellow/matted down lawn areas or more widespread (conditions dependent). As the lawn dries and warmer weather moves in the disease becomes dormant until the next opportunity arises (late fall/early spring). Damaged lawn areas should be repaired by first raking the problematic areas (very important), add a light layer of topsoil (as/if needed), plant a premium disease resistant grass seed blend and finally cover the repaired lawn areas with a light layer of peat moss to complete. After the lawn repairs have been completed and soil temperatures warm beyond 50 F your lawn will rebuild its lost density and look as if a problem never existed.
Culex Pipiens or better known as the Northern House Mosquito!
I think we can all agree that mosquitoes are a nuisance pest that can make any considerable time spent outdoors very problematic. As the weather warms and as routine rains occur prepare to encounter the dreaded mosquito. Unlike tiny Midge flies that do not bite, mosquitoes (female Culex Pipiens in particular) can blood feed and spread diseases like West Nile Virus, St. Louis encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis and other diseases. They routinely lay eggs in temporary stagnate pools like catch basins, ditches, marshes, clogged rain gutters, planters and even in old water filled tires. Basically any location where clean or polluted water can accumulate undisturbed for less than 2 weeks is all it takes. Mosquitoes have 4 life stages; Egg, Larva, Pupa and Adult. Since only the female mosquito blood feeds (sucks blood), it is critical for the female mosquito to acquire the needed protein (via blood) to produce eggs (50-400 eggs at a time). Please keep in mind that female blood sucking mosquitoes not only feed on humans, but birds and animals as well. Once mosquito eggs are laid they become larva in only 3 days. Mosquitoes complete their life cycle (egg-larva-pupa-adult) in 7-10 days. Even the most effective mosquito control program cannot completely eliminate mosquitoes. Mosquito populations can be reduced by eliminating breeding sites (if possible). Mosquito bites and disease can be prevented through properly maintained window screens, protective clothing and repellents (containing DEET 10-30% most effective). Mosquitoes are less attracted to white clothes than to dark colored clothes. Controlling mosquito larva (primarily by removing stagnate water or by utilizing a larvacide) should be the primary goal of any mosquito management plan. Control of adult mosquitoes can be accomplished by applying residual barrier treatments to reduce mosquitoes resting in vegetation during the day or by ground applied fogs (adulticiding) at dusk. Even the best adulticide program will eliminate no more than 30% of the total adult mosquito population. A good seasonal larvacide program is needed for best local area mosquito control.
Integrated Pest Management is the process of continually scouting for lawn and landscape related pests and injury. Pests can be defined as a weed, disease, rodent or insect that can cause injury. When managing the health of your lawn and landscape it is very important to understand the goals of Integrated Pest Management. The two primary goals of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is to protect the environment and provide economical pest control up to the economic and aesthetic thresholds that you the property owner specifies. It is very important to be able to identify what exactly a pest is, if the pest is susceptible (or non-susceptible) to control and if a pest is injurious to the desirable managed plant or not. There are four primary control measures that are routinely used in IPM; Cultural, Mechanical, Biological and Chemical. Cultural control involves growing the desired plant to be healthy through proper fertility, planting, plant selection (less susceptible plants), mulching and mowing. Mechanical control is physically eliminating a pest by cultivating, pruning, hoeing and weed pulling, hand picking or burning and burying. Biological control utilizes living organisms such as predators (lady beetles, spiders, insect-feeding birds), parasites (parasitic wasps, tachinid flies, etc.) and diseases (B.t. bacteria, Beauvaria fungus). Lastly chemical control features the use of pesticides that are primarily quick, effective and short-term. It is highly recommended to consider non-chemical methods first. When applying pesticides you will need to consider any/all environmental impacts, proper timing and location of application. Resistance can be experienced from continual use of same mode-of-action pesticide. Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for professional lawn related care in the greater Chicago and surrounding northwest suburban area. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and we look forward to being of service to you in the very near future!
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Since 1993, Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc., building long-term satisfied client relationships, one important detail at a time!