Mosquito Control Chemicals: Are They Safe?

Every homeowner dreams of a mosquito-free yard in the summer. While professional solutions may seem viable to keep these pests at bay, it’s natural for there to be concerns over the safety of mosquito control chemicals — especially if you have children or pets.

So, are mosquito control chemicals safe? When EPA-registered mosquito control chemicals are applied based on label instructions and at low levels, the answer to this question should be yes.

There are households with increased sensitivities to chemicals, whether it’s tied to allergies, sensitive skin or compromised immune systems. In these scenarios, mosquito control chemicals deemed safe by the EPA and properly applied can still have adverse effects. This can come in the form of skin, eye and bronchial irritation.

If you’re worried about the chemical sensitivity of your household, it’s probably best to swap the traditional mosquito control chemicals with a more natural route.

Natural Mosquito Control for Sensitive Households

As the name implies, natural mosquito control eliminates the use of chemicals and instead uses organic materials to ward off mosquitoes. These all-natural recipes come with no negative side effects for children and pets (or the environment for that matter), which translates to stress-free mosquito control for even the most sensitive households.

Just as is the case for mosquito control chemicals, some natural mosquito control solutions are more effective than others. Whereas as citronella, for instance, evaporates quickly and provides defense against mosquitoes for only a short period, cedar oil — a natural protectant for cedar trees against mosquitoes and other pests — evaporates more slowly and provides longer, more effective protection. (Pair cedar oil with a hint of peppermint, an aroma that mosquitoes can’t stand, and you’ll have an added layer of defense in place.)

Safari Tree Offers Conventional & Organic Mosquito Control

While every home deserves safe and effective mosquito control, we realize this doesn’t always come in the form of a single solution. Conventional applications of mosquito control chemicals will fulfill the needs of some homeowners, while others will require (or prefer) a more organic approach. That’s why to best serve Lush Lawn & Safari Tree customers, we offer conventional and organic applications for mosquito control.

Even though our conventional and organic mosquito control programs use different products — the former uses safe synthetic chemicals while the latter uses cedar and peppermint oils — both treatments are highly effective at driving away living mosquitoes and preventing mosquito larvae from maturing. Each conventional and natural application lasts for about 21 days, after which another spray is needed to provide full protection. (Note: Natural mosquito control sprays can be applied more than their synthetic counterparts since they have no negative side effects.)

Keeping your yard mosquito-free doesn’t have to come at the expense of feeling safe. With conventional and natural mosquito control programs to choose from, Lush Lawn & Safari Tree provides you with the options you need to feel comfortable in your outdoor environment. Talk to us about your mosquito control needs and we’ll set you up with the services you need to feel safe year-round. It all starts with requesting a free quote.

Why Mosquito Control Is Important — and How It Works

We’ve all experienced the nuisance of mosquitoes during a relaxing evening outdoors. The buzzing sounds they make can irritate as you relax, while the itchy bumps from one of their bites can take a few days to clear up. While certainly frustrating, these scenarios showcase the mild impact mosquitoes can have on humans.

Research shows that more than 1 million people across the globe die every year from mosquito-borne illnesses. Known to be carriers of harmful diseases like the West Nile virus, mosquitoes can inflict debilitating symptoms that last weeks, months or even years in some cases. (Humans aren’t the only ones affected. Dogs and horses are also very susceptible to contracting mosquito-borne illnesses as well.)

While this shines a light on why mosquito control is important, the next step is to consider the different measures to keep mosquitoes at bay in your yard — some of which aren’t as effective (or convenient) as others.

Setbacks of Temporary Mosquito Control Solutions

Mosquito Repellant Spray

As with other sprays, it’s not always easy to tell if you missed a spot — but mosquitoes that are on the hunt are sure to notice. So even if you reapply as the product label indicates, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the total coverage you need to stay protected. (And often, when we’re caught up in conversation, we tend to forget to reapply mosquito repellent anyways.)

Aside from the room-for-error, mosquito repellant spray is also known to come with strong odors and the potential to irritate your skin. The spray could also catch the wind and accidentally end up in someone’s eye, causing irritation as well.

Citronella Candles

Citronella candles can add ambiance to your backyard, but they tend to be of little help when it comes to mosquito control. While the oil inside the candles is meant to mask scents that attract mosquitoes, the candles tend to emit only a small concentration of oil, which evaporates quickly. This causes them to be ineffective in blocking out mosquito populations.

How Our Mosquito Control Works All Season Long

At Lush Lawn & Safari Tree, we take a more proactive, long-term approach to mosquito control. This means fewer inconveniences for you and greater protection against mosquito-borne disease.

Using a backpack mister/blower unit, our team applies an EPA approved mosquito control to shrubs, trees and shaded areas of your lawn where mosquitoes tend to hang out during the day and breed. With these control measures in place, you’ll eliminate the mosquito populations that strike at night.

While our mosquito control program is effective, it’s also important to note that it’s safe. We apply products when your windows and doors are closed, which in turn allows the mosquito control to dry and get to work before the evening arrives. And there’s no need to worry about harm to surrounding plants, as our product is safe for your entire landscape.

Since mosquitoes hatch all summer long, a treatment only lasts three to four weeks. Our licensed technicians apply five treatments beginning in May and going through September, allowing you to enjoy the entire season without the buzzing sounds or bites of mosquitoes.

There’s no better time to invest in mosquito control measures for your outdoor space. Contact Lush Lawn & Safari Tree today to receive a special offer on season-long protection against mosquitoes.

Grubs in Lawn: Expert Tips on How to Rid Your Lawn of Grubs

grub control for lawns

While white grubs in lawn can be one of the most devastating and difficult invasions a yard can experience. Grub control for lawns can be a challenge, but with professional help like that of Lush Lawn, you don’t have to say goodbye to your beautiful, green grass. Learning how to diagnose, treat, and prevent grub infestations is an important part of proper landscaping management. With a variety of grub types available, from June bugs to billbugs, to more exotically sourced insects like the European chafer and the Japanese beetle, there is always a risk of one making your yard their new home.

Signs of Grubs

grubs in lawn in Michigan

One of the most important factors for grub control lawn care is early detection. Brown patches that never grow new grass can be a sign that grubs were there in a past season. In a frequently watered lawn, the soil taking on a spongy character can be another sign that there are grubs dwelling underground. Sometimes this sponginess can be detected before wilting or death of grass begins to occur. Digging up a small cross-section of the lawn and checking for how many grubs you see is one of the best ways to diagnose your yard. Since the presence of some grubs is natural and in fact beneficial, you should only treat the yard if there is a high quantity. A high quantity of beetles in the area in the summer can also indicate high grub numbers in the spring and fall.

Synthetic Methods

There is a range of options when selecting a lawn grub treatment. If you are dealing with Japanese beetle grubs, there is a granular milky spore mix available that will target them directly. This is a disease spread by spores that will kill, and prevent, Japanese beetle grubs for a few years. Other types of grubs are not as affected, which means a more broad-spectrum synthetic could be better serving. Two main synthetics can be used to quickly eradicate grub populations of any stages. Choosing between carbaryl and trichlorfon should be done with the help of a knowledgeable lawn care professional, since depending on your specific yard one or the other may have positive or negative outcomes. Since there are so many natural remedies available for grub problems, synthetic additives should be a backup plan.

Manual Methods

There are many natural or manual options for lawn grub control. Lawn aeration tools with longer spikes can pierce and slay underground grubs. A few passes with aeration shoes or a deep-spiking tool can clear a yard in a short time. Another natural solution is the addition of insect parasitic nematodes to the environment. The nematodes will infect and devour certain grub species. While this method is synthetic free, introducing new parasites to your yard’s environment could have extra side effects. Heavy, regular watering can be useful for stopping the spread of grubs and drowning out some of the existing ones.

Future Prevention

Maintaining a healthy lawn is key to preventing the spread of grubs in your lawn. Regular fertilization is important to strengthen the grass and other foliage. Aerating the soil is another effective way to reduce grub infestations. The beetles that spawn the most destructive grubs prefer compacted soil for their eggs. Aerating the soil is beneficial for the turf in many ways, but in areas with a higher risk for grubs, it is crucial. There are preventative insecticides that can be used in the spring to keep your yard protected throughout the warm seasons. Not only can the experts at Lush Lawn help you remove existing grub infections, among other issues, but they can also help build a plan of attack to guard your yard against future problems.

Dangerous Mosquito-Borne Virus Reported in Saginaw, MI

Do you think mosquitoes are just a nuisance? While there’s no denying that they are irritating, the fact is that they are also a serious health risk. In Michigan, particularly in Wayne County and Saginaw County, homeowners need to be aware that even just one bite from a mosquito can cause serious, potentially deadly, illness. If you are considering mosquito control, here is a closer look at why it is so important to your health.

What You Need to Know About Mosquito Disease

mosquito-control-michigan-safari-treeEarlier in September, an Allegan County resident was diagnosed with Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a rare neurological disease that causes fever, headache, chills, nausea, and potential inflammation of the brain. This serious disease is carried by mosquitoes and is considered one of the most deadly mosquito-borne diseases in the United States. Around 33 percent of the people who contract EEE will die and survivors often suffer from lasting brain damage, according to Channel 5 WNEM’s news report.

While EEE is rare, it points to the serious nature of mosquito-borne illnesses. Not only do Michigan residents need to concern themselves with EEE, but mosquitoes also carry diseases like West Nile Virus, Dengue Virus, and other serious diseases. When mosquitoes in the area test positive for these dangerous illnesses, homeowners need to be vigilant to protect their families.

How to Protect Your Property from Mosquitoes

Protecting your family from mosquitoes does not mean you need to lock everyone inside for the duration of mosquito season. Instead, you need to be proactive to stop the spread of mosquito-borne viruses from your MI home.

  • First, make sure you do not give mosquitoes a good place to breed in your yard. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, and the larva uses water to develop. If you have any areas in your yard that have standing water, clean them up right away. This includes your bird bath and any buckets you may store outdoors that could collect rainwater.
  • Next, use insect repellent any time you spend time outdoors, so you are at less risk for a bite. While this does not control the mosquitoes in your yard, it will reduce the risk of a serious event from a mosquito-borne illness in your family.
  • Also, keep your eye on mosquito activity in your yard. If you notice certain times of day when mosquitoes are more active, consider staying indoors during those hours. The less exposure you have to mosquitoes, the better your chances of staying healthy during mosquito season.
  • Finally, consider investing in professional mosquito control. With proven pest control measures, Safari Tree can help you prevent the risk of mosquito-borne disease for your family, helping you do your part to control mosquitoes in your area.

Safari Tree Mosquito Control Services – Organic and Traditional

Safari Tree offers both conventional and organic mosquito control measures that prevent mosquitoes from terrorizing your family. Our mosquito control services are guaranteed for 21 days, so you can enjoy weeks of mosquito-free fun in your yard. Choose from traditional pesticides or our organic, pesticide-free options, and enjoy a mosquito-free season for the rest of the year.

Mosquito season in Michigan is far from over, and with dangerous diseases being reported, you need to take measures to stop these pests. Contact Safari Tree today to get a quote for professional mosquito control for your Michigan home.

Summer Mosquito Control in Michigan

Summer is supposed to be a happy time spent with friends and family. Enjoying the great outdoors together is no exception. Whether you are at the lake enjoying the sunshine or taking advantage of warm weather from the comfort of your backyard, any resident Michigander will know that summer means that mosquitoes are out in full force. Few things can put a damper on a barbecue more than an invasion of these nasty pests. Not only are they annoying, their bite is uncomfortable and could even transmit disease!

The good news is that you don’t have to suffer through hordes of mosquitoes to enjoy your yard. Our good friends at Safari Tree are veterans of mosquito control and removal. They understand just how unpleasant mosquitos can be, and know just how to control mosquito populations that spring up in the summer.

Here’s why you should consider professional mosquito control:

Protect Your Health from Mosquitos

It’s no secret that mosquitoes are unpleasant pests, but they have the potential of being dangerous too! With each bite, a female mosquito could transmit a nasty virus. Mosquito-spread diseases, such as Zika and West Nile have gained attention in past few years. It is a good sign that property owners are paying attention to this potential threat. Professional mosquito control effectively removes or reduces mosquito populations in a concentrated area such as your backyard.

Organic Mosquito Control for a Greater Peace of Mind

If you are looking for a completely natural method to control mosquitoes on your property, Safari Tree offers an organic solution. Our organic mosquito control is effective and non-toxic so it’s safe for your family and pets. For an alternative solution to conventional mosquito control, we highly recommend giving organic a try.

Professional Mosquito Control – Free Estimates

Safari Tree offers professional mosquito control so that you can enjoy your summer worry-free! We invite you to take advantage of our free estimate for mosquito control so you are fully confident in our services before we begin. Contact us today for a free estimate and peace of mind this summer.

Healthy Lawns Means a Healthy Environment

Did you know that by keeping your lawn and trees healthy, you contribute directly to the overall health of our environment? It is more than just having a beautiful green lawn to enjoy and relax in, it is also about sustaining the environment that surrounds all of us. Some key benefits include managing the air quality we breathe – lawns alone capture more than 12 million tons of dust particles (Source: Georgie Turfgrass Foundation). Also, when your lawn is healthy and vibrant, they also help prevent puddles of water forming by absorbing the various water runoffs from sprinklers, rain and any other moisture that if the lawn wasn’t there, could pool into bodies of water around the property. Maintained lawns can absorb more than 6,000 gallons of water from a single rainfall (Source: Journal of Environmental Quality). In addition to the air quality, the grass on all our lawns creates and provides oxygen – a 50’x50’ lawn can produce enough oxygen to support a family of four.

So when you think about whether or not to invest in the care of your lawn, keep in mind that there are other benefits that come with a beautiful, healthy and green lawn. It is more than just watering and mowing the grass and the plants, it is making sure you are providing enough fertilizer, you are combating the weeds and insects that can damage the plants, as well as have preventative treatments in place.

Are you ready to give back to our environment and invest in your lawn? Contact Lush Lawn today and let’s start the conversation!

About Mole Damage and Your Lawn

Moles are another fairly destructive lawn rodent that if left untreated could cause extensive damage to your grass to where it could be costly to repair. They are not the cutest critter out there, and they do leave tell-tale signs that they are your new houseguests through the various dirt mounds you may start noticing cropping up throughout your lawn.

With powerful front limbs, they are able to dig their way throughout the soil seeking grubs and other insects to feed on. What separates them from voles is that they are carnivores and dig deep into the soil compared to voles, of which are herbivores and tunnel near the top of the lawn.

Moles tend to mate from February through May, with a gestation period of about 42 days and typically have about 3-5 pups (mole babies) are born, mainly in March and April. Pups tend to leave the nest about 30-45 days after they are born to secure their own territories.

Much of the damage caused by moles is that they can undermine the plant roots indirectly causing severe damage or even the death of the plan through their burrowing, not by feeding off them. It is very important for the health of your lawn to control these pests as quickly as possible, as if they continue to burrow, even removing the mounds of dirt or covering them up, still weakens the top level of your soil to where areas in your lawn could collapse and leave tracks and furrows in the lawn.

Are you concerned with the effects of mole damage on your lawn? Have you noticed the signs of mole damage on your property? Contact the experts at Lush Lawn’s mole control services today for a free estimate on service.

Got Grubs?

It’s that time of year where grubs are becoming active and could Grub Controlalready be feasting on your lawn right now!  The weather may not seem warm enough, but these bugs are nice and warm in the soil, just under the grass, feeding on the roots for nutrients to grow.

There are a few quick things to look for if you are unsure about whether or not you are having a grub control issue.  First, you will start seeing patches appearing throughout your lawn, causing an uneven appearance.  This could be a sign that you are having active grubs in your soil.  The second sign is if you start seeing skunks returning to your property.  Skunks are known as memory feeders, so they tend to return to where they “remember” where they found food, such as grubs.  If you start seeing them frequent your property, this could be an indicator that you may be having grub activity on your lawn.

Just this week, our trusted field technicians uncovered active grubs in Brighton, Plymouth, and Rochester Hills, so it is starting and if left untreated, these grubs can cause extensive damage to your lawn and compromise the overall health.

To learn more about our grub prevention and grub killer programs, contact our grub control experts today!

Billbugs and Chinch Bugs, What You Need to Know

Continuing with what could compromise your lawn’s health if left untreated or undiagnosed, we will be looking at Bill Bugs and Chinch Bugs.

Billbugs are beetles with long snouts, or bills, that carries to the tip a pair of strong jaws or mandibles of which is how the beetles chew their food. Their markings vary from clay yellow to reddish brown to jet black in color. These beetles are known for burrowing into the grass stems near the surface of the soil and the damage is caused by their feeding off the grass leaves. Billbugs are found in two forms: adult and larvae.

The adult Bill Bug looks like a small beetle and are distinguished by the long snouts, or bills, which is how they came about their name. The adult Bill Bugs feeds directly on the grass stems above the surface of the soil. The Billbug larvae look like any other grubs and as they are in the soil, they feed directly off the actual grassroots, which they can spread and create extensive damage to the lawn. Common signs that you may have Billbug issues are dead spots throughout your lawn that are not recovering. Also, since the larvae feed on the roots, you can also test the dead grass areas by pulling them out and if they release easily from the soil, then there is a good chance you are having a Bill Bug problem.

insect-control-lawn-care-lush-lawn-chinch-bugChinch bugs are mostly found in areas of direct sunlight in the lawn and are seldom found in shady areas. Their damage is caused by how they insert their slender beak into the grass and literally suck out the plant juices. As it is doing this, the Chinch bug also releases a toxin that turns the turf area being affected to a yellowish/brownish color and the damage is noticeable by spreading patches of brown, dead grass. Most homeowners notice the dead patches of grass first along a driveway, curb, sidewalk or the foundation of the home, due to the heat emitted from such objects. Because these bugs can also fly, it is difficult to keep an area free of Chinch bugs if they are emerging from neighboring lawns or croplands.

Contact Lush Lawn to receive a free estimate or schedule insect control for your lawn today!

Cutworms and Sod Webworms – Harmful Lawn Pests You Should Know About

Moving into issues that may occur on your lawn, this week we will be focusing on worms: Cutworms and Sod Web Worms.

cutworm-lawn-pests-lushlawnCutworms, common name for the caterpillar or adult of certain moths in the family that includes the armyworms, loopers, underwings and many others. Cutworms can impact and affect the health of a variety of plants, especially during the seedling stage. They are known to consume roots, shoots, stems, buds and young leaves. In heavy infestations, young plants may appear to have been cut off at the ground by the caterpillars’ feeding, which is where they got the name cutworms. They are also nocturnal, sometimes climbing fruit trees to reach the leaves and buds, and they like to hide under vegetation, stones or burrow into the ground during the daytime. They have the common appearance of a caterpillar, mostly smooth-bodied and dull-colored, and as an adult moth, they are recognized by their stout-bodies and have dull, gray or brown mottled wings. sodwebworms-lawnpests-lushlawn

Sod webworms are also caterpillars of a brown or dull gray moth. Webworms grow to a length of nearly ¾” and vary in color from pinkish white to yellowish brown with a light to dark brown or black head. They are covered with fine hairs and the adult moths have a wingspan of about ¾”. They fold their wings closely about their bodies when at rest and have a prominent forward projection on the head. Moths hide in shrubbery or other sheltered spots during the day. They are noticeable in the early evening, as they fly over and around the lawn. The female moth scatters her eggs over the lawn as she flies, which is how they spread. Sod webworms feed only at night and you can see the damage on the grass blades that have the appearance of notches on the sides and chewed raggedly. Irregular brown spots are the first signs of damage, and if left untreated, larger areas of grass can and will be more severe in the damage caused by these worms. A heavy infestation, if again, left untreated, can destroy a lawn in just a few short days.