Ask an Expert: Summer Pest Control Tips and Mistakes to Avoid

Relaxing outside during a Florida summer is sometimes easier said than done. You want to enjoy your yard and hang out on the lawn with your friends and family… but so do all kinds of bugs and pests.

Proper summer pest control can help you keep control of your lawn and enjoy the season without buzzing and itching.

To help you get the most out of your yard this summer, we reached out to the experts at McCall Service, a residential and commercial pest control service for northern Florida and Georgia. Last year, McCall gave us some top-notch mosquito prevention advice—this week they’re helping us identify pest problems and prevent a variety of bugs the right way. Here’s what you need to know:

Q&A with Guest Expert Kevin Smith of McCall Service: Summer Pest Control

What pests should North Central FL residents look out for as summer gets underway?

Right now, in June and July, your number one would be chinch bugs in St. Augustine grass. They get in this type of grass, which is very common in this area, and can cause serious damage. What they’ll do is inject a chemical in the grass that destroys the plant tissue, and then you’ll start to see areas of your lawn going brown.

Mole crickets are another big one. They can tunnel underground and destroy your grass. Keep your eye out for beetles as well, which are often turf destroying bugs.

What typically attracts these types of pests to North Central FL lawns?

These bugs typically like hot areas that are dry, but rain doesn’t really slow them down all that much. Unfortunately, they like healthy and sunny lawns, so that’s why it’s important to do some pest control if you want to enjoy your yard all summer.

What pest prevention techniques should people use during the summer? Is it already too late to do prevention?

It’s not too late. If you haven’t started to see signs of bug damage to your grass and plants yet, it’s definitely a good time to put down an insecticide. But even if you have pests like chinch bugs they’ll be easy for a pest control service to remove.

There’s no one-size-fits-all prevention. The key is to properly identify what pests are at risk of damaging your lawn. That way you’ll be using the right insecticide, which means effective pest control—and you won’t be damaging the environment by throwing just anything down.

Are there any common pest control mistakes you’ve seen on the job that people should be aware of?

Oh yeah. A lot of times we’ll find that someone actually has fungus that they’re trying to console with insecticide, which won’t work. Then they’ll use fertilizer to help the lawn grow back, which only makes things worse.

Again, proper identification is everything. Any decent pest control service will let you know what you’ve got on your property so you can make an informed decision about what action to take.

Any eco-friendly pest control tips you can share?

McCall Service uses a water conservation tool called Hydretain, which helps your lawn hold water for longer. It’s kind of like a magnet for water molecules. Not only does this help you cut down on irrigation by as much as 50%, it can actually help pesticides perform better as well.


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