It may be winter, but in warmer locations of the United States, irritating pests still like to lurk around in your plants or your yard. Fire ants, fleas, and ticks are among the most prominent of backyard pests, but different areas have major problem insects such as the spiraling white-fly in Florida. Fight these unwelcome insects off now so you will have one less worry come spring and summer.
Fire ants are small but pose a big threat because their bites can create blisters or cause severe allergic reactions. The ant mounds can become very large and kill the roots of the grass in your yard.
To take care of your fire ant problem, you could start by flushing the bugs out with a mixture of water and a little bit of dish soap. There are a variety of pesticides available, including organic options, but beware of overdoing it and killing off the bugs that keep your yard healthy. You’ll want to check your yard frequently; killing ant larva will be easier than killing the grown insects. Call in a professional if the problem is recurring.
Fleas and Ticks
In some areas, it never gets cold enough to kill these intruders. But since fleas and ticks are a nuisance and danger to your family and pets, it’s important to remove the insects from your yard.
First, prevent fleas and ticks from invading your home as well by treating your pets. There are shampoos, sprays, and flea collars you can use. For fleas, sevin dust or boric acid (which is not harmful to pets or children) can be distributed over the yard. There are insecticides that will exterminate fleas and ticks as well. The easiest thing you can do, however, is keep your lawn trimmed and weed-free so the insects have nowhere to hide.
Spiraling whiteflies are becoming a huge problem, especially in southern Florida. This insect has already weakened more than 600 trees and taken out a large percentage of big ficus hedges in the Florida area.
You can identity a spiraling whitefly problem by either waxy, white spirals on the underside of the plant’s leaves (the insect’s egg deposits) or black mold underneath the tree. Because this insect is hard to get rid of, it’s important to call in professional pest control services. These technicians can use a deep root injector to fully exterminate the whiteflies.