Invasive Guests Are Making Themselves at Home in Your Plants.
Summer brings sunshine, days at the beach, lazy hammock naps, and plenty of welcome warm air. However, it also brings summer pests that can eat away at your plants and trees, leading to landscaping destruction or even the death of some of your plants or trees. Quick and effective measures are needed to prevent a full-blown infestation. We focus on three of the most common and invasive summer pests in this article, aphids, spider mites, and bagworms. These nuisance pests should not get control of your garden, and with some help from EarthWorks, they won’t.
Top Summer Pests Concerns for Commercial Properties
Anyone who has spent five minutes outdoors knows that there are a lot of invasive and bothersome pests during the summer months. However, three pests are especially concerning when landscaping commercial properties: aphids, spider mites, and bagworms. Each brings with them its suite of problems. Here is a quick overview of what these invaders are.
Aphids exist year-round in Texas but tend to ramp up their colonies during summer because they love dry and hot weather conditions. It takes a keen eye to spot aphids because they usually hide under leaves, and you need to physically turn leaves over to find them.
If left untouched, Aphids will wilt leaves, leading to trees and plants dying. Additionally, Aphids produce a sugary sap known as honeydew that will ruin the aesthetic of your plants and can turn them black. Preventative maintenance is critical to prevent damage before it’s too late.
The tricky part of treating aphids is that over time the species has adapted to insecticides and pesticides therefore, you need a skilled landscaping company specializing in pest management that can treat them with the right combination to eradicate them from your property.
Spider mites are one of the most common landscape pests in Texas. Like aphids, spider mites love hot environments and hide in the shade underneath leaves, so you have to actively inspect plants and trees to determine if they are on your property. They are tiny, no bigger than a pinhead, and are red, brown, or tan. Although they are often too small to see with the naked eye, they leave a telltale sign of their presence; small, wispy silk webs under leaves. Their webs are their distinctive trademark, but even though they are pretty, they cause a great deal of damage by sucking out the healthy fluids of a plant via the plant’s webbing.
They love to converge on evergreen shrubs, trees, and xeriscape plants such as Yuccas. Their favorite hiding places are oak, cypress, cedar, and elm trees. It’s fairly easy to identify plants or trees that spider mites have damaged as their foliage has a gray appearance, and the tree or plant will lack its usual luster. You may notice leaves drop earlier than expected as well. Aside from the exterior damage, spider mites work over the years by poking small holes in the leaves of a plant to suck the nutrients out. This damages the plant’s defense system and prevents the plant from being able to heal itself. Over time, this damage can become irreparable.
Once again, preventative maintenance is key in preventing permanent damage and infestation if you catch them early in their development.
Bagworms, much like butterflies, live in a cocoon, spreading their wings once they mature. But unlike beautiful butterflies with striking colors, bagworms are not attractive insects; they look like ugly, black fuzzy moths. They get their name from their appearance, which can resemble a small bag dangling from a tree.
Before they emerged from their cocoons, they were likely already damaging your shrubs, oak, elm, and juniper trees. They spend much of the fall season using their silk and parts of the tree to create their camouflaged bags, filling up 1,000 eggs. These eggs start hatching in the early spring and summer and release tiny black larvae.
If left untreated, these caterpillars can parachute and travel to nearby trees to build new homes, beginning an infestation on your property. They eat the buds and foliage of your trees, which can cause the branch tips to turn brown and die.
It is estimated that the whole tree could die if bagworms eat more than 80% of the tree. The best way to get rid of these unwanted pests is to cut them off the tree or by having certified arborists apply a treatment to the tree when they are in the larvae stage in the spring or early summer.
What To Expect from EarthWorks Summer Pest Management Program
The staff at EarthWorks has decades of combined experience fighting summer pests, and we know how to get control of them quickly so that they can’t wreak havoc on your commercial landscaping. As part of our summer pest management program, property managers from EarthWorks will regularly inspect and monitor all trees and plants on your property. The goal is to quickly identify an invader so that our pest management efforts are quick and effective.
If a property manager finds evidence of pests, they will spray them with the correct insecticides or pesticides to remove them from your landscaping and elevate the threat. This may seem straightforward, but the process is extremely time-sensitive, especially in Texas, where heat and humidity can quickly take hold. EarthWorks treat aphid infestations year-round since these pests are always looking for plants to dine on, but they tend to become more apparent during the summer months, along with spider mites and bagworms.
Contact EarthWorks Today to Get Relief from Summer Pests
Are you worried that pests might be destroying your landscaping? EarthWorks works with several commercial property owners throughout the Texas region. Contact us today to learn more about our summer pest management for commercial properties program.
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