Japanese Beetles and their larval grub form are arguably the most destructive garden pests you can face, capable of destroying your entire lawn or garden in only a matter of days. Most prevalent in the warmer months, these damaging scarab beetles lay their eggs in the soil during mid summer. These soon hatch into grubs which start eating your lawn from just under the soil surface until they emerge in spring as adult Japanese beetles. A full blown Japanese beetle problem is costly and a bit intimidating to tackle, but getting rid of and preventing Japanese beetles isn’t. Here’s how to control Japanese beetles with just 3 simple steps.
The absolute most important step in controlling Japanese beetles is prevention. Not only is it the easiest, least expensive approach, it’s also by far the most impactful. Whether you constantly struggle with Japanese beetles or have never had them before, the following tips will help you avoid costly Japanese beetle issues moving forward:
- Overly wet lawns lead to larger, more damaging grub and Japanese beetle populations. To avoid this, water your lawn as little as possible through July, August, and the latter parts of June. Doing this will reduce the number of grubs and adult beetles you’ll experience the following year.
- During Japanese beetle season—late spring through summer—avoid cutting your grass too short, aiming for about 3 inches instead. Females prefer to lay their eggs in shorter grass and keeping your turf longer can help limit Japanese beetle populations.
- If you garden, make sure to harvest your fruits & veggies early and often. Additionally, if you tend to struggle with Japanese beetles every year, consider switching out your plants, avoiding Japanese beetles’ favorite foods, such as apples, peaches, plums, beans, raspberries, hibiscus, and roses.
- Japanese beetles are most attracted to rotting and overripe plants, so keeping a healthy lawn and garden is key. Promptly remove diseased or otherwise dying plants, grasses, trees, fruits and vegetables before they attract additional beetles to your yard.
- Avoid using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers in your lawn, doing so could decrease the health of your lawn, leading to larger Japanese beetle populations.
- Attracting predators like birds and reptiles to your lawn is an effective and natural way to prevent serious Japanese beetle problems. Invite birds by offering baths and feeders, and attract reptiles by offering shallow dishes of water and cool, dark places for them to hide (an overturned planter works great for this!)
- Targeting Japanese beetles in their larval grub stage is an efficient way to devastate their populations before they mature into adults. Microscopic parasitic worms known as beneficial nematodes, the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, and milky spore are all effective options.
- Employing row covers or drop cloths over vulnerable or appetizing plants will help both prevent Japanese beetle problems and their infamous damage.
Lawn and gardens filled with other damaging bugs are much more likely to suffer from Japanese beetles, too. In short, pest damage leads to a less healthy lawn, and sicklier lawns are more attractive to hungry bugs like Japanese beetles.
By treating your lawn with a family-safe pesticide, you can help break up this cycle, protecting your lawn from potentially fatal Japanese beetle harm. Not only will this kill unwanted bugs in your lawn—like mosquitoes, ants, fleas, ticks, and chiggers—it will help keep Japanese beetle populations under control.
Start by thoroughly spraying your entire front, back, and side yards with PCO Choice, including shrubbery and bases of trees. For best results, repeat this process in two weeks and then move on to monthly applications afterward. If you’re not currently struggling with Japanese beetles and just need prevention, you can start with monthly applications right from the start.
If you live in a warmer region like the South, applications should be done every month unless the temperature drops below freezing for more than a few weeks. If you live in a state prone to cold spells, start spraying monthly in late February and then taper off in November as winter really starts to set in.
Because PCO Choice is plant-based and family-safe, no downtime is necessary. You, your family, and pets can enjoy your lawn right after application!
For additional protection, we strongly advise spreading Cedar Granules throughout your outdoor space, especially in and around your garden and other known trouble spots like vulnerable grass.
In addition to the prevention methods outlined above and treating your lawn and garden monthly, removing Japanese beetles by hand is one of the most effective approaches for getting rid of these terrible pests. Granted, It’s not the quickest, but the results speak for themselves.
For best results, venture out into your lawn & garden in the early morning when Japanese beetles are known to be most active. Wearing gloves, remove any Japanese beetles you come across. Be careful not to squeeze or damage them, doing so could attract more beetles. Finally, dispose of the collected beetles by dropping them in a bucket of soapy water (2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap per 1 gallon of water).
While their large pinchers might seem threatening, earwigs are actually quite harmless, and in many cases can be a welcome addition to your yard’s natural ecosystem. And no, the old wives’ tales are not true—earwigs never burrow into human ears or present any other threat to people or pets. In fact, in small numbers, these nocturnal, reddish-brown insects are actually beneficial, helping rid our lawns of decaying organic matter and undesirable or damaging bugs like aphids, slugs, snails, and mites.
However, when conditions are just right, earwig populations can explode. In these instances, earwigs can cause significant damage to your lawn and garden, as they begin feeding on living plants, like vegetables, fruits, and ornamental flowers. In these cases, you’ll need to act fast to prevent costly damage. The following tips will help you keep earwig populations to a healthy, manageable level, all without resorting to poisonous, old-school pesticides.
- Jagged leaves with holes throughout your lawn and garden, similar to slug and snail damage but without the tell-tale slime trails.
- Check on or around damaged plants for small black spots, this is what earwig poop looks like.
- Lawn & garden damage that seems to occur mostly after rainy or particularly humid weather.
- If you have planters, furniture, or any other equipment or tools in your yard, lift them up and check for earwigs. The babies look just like adult earwigs only smaller. They are likely to be found near mulch and other moist organic debris, too.
Preventing earwigs is much easier than getting rid of a thriving population. Thankfully, prevention is quite easy and essentially all comes down to basic home and lawn maintenance. Here’s how to do it:
- Earwigs usually enter our homes through small cracks or holes in windows, screens, doorways, baseboards, and countertops. Check these areas for possible earwig entry points and re-seal or repair items as needed. This will help with other common household bugs like ants, too.
- Leaky faucets, drains, and other plumping either inside or outside your home can attract earwigs. Clogged gutters are also a common source of earwig problems. Check these items periodically and repair, replace, or clean as needed.
- Earwigs tend to live in and feed on moist organic matter, like mulch, stacks of wood, leaves, and unkempt vegetation. Removing these attractants and other unnecessary clutter from your lawn can make a big difference when it comes to earwigs.
- Large overhanging branches and dense shrubbery can help create moist, shady areas in your lawn, which is exactly the environment earwigs need to survive. Trim trees and bushes as needed to limit possible earwig hideouts.
A DIY earwig trap is an effective way to reduce the number of earwigs in your lawn and garden. Just roll up a few sheets of damp newspaper and bind them together with a couple rubber bands. Place these rolls both inside and outside wherever earwigs tend to congregate, or near where you suspect they may be damaging your plants. Then simply check them the next day and dispose of any trapped earwigs. Pretty easy, right?
Garden pests can create a vicious cycle that ultimately ruins your beautiful lawn and garden. It goes like this: pest damage leads to a less healthy lawn, and sicklier lawns are more attractive to damaging garden pests.
Break up this cycle by treating your lawn each month with the family-friendly Lawn & Garden Kit. Not only will this kill any unwanted bugs in your lawn—like mosquitoes, ants, fleas, ticks, and chiggers—but it will help prevent additional damaging pests like earwigs from taking hold. Repeat treatments monthly during the warm months or more as needed.
Because the Lawn & Garden Kit is non-toxic and plant-based, no downtime is required. You, your family, and pets can enjoy your lawn immediately after application.
While they’re mostly seen outdoors, earwigs occasionally find their way inside your home in search of food and shelter. A quick spray with family and pet-safe Cedarcide Original will kill any earwigs you see inside on contact.
To help keep future earwigs outdoors, spray known entry points and trouble areas like the baseboards and flooring in your bathrooms, laundry room, basement, and kitchen weekly with Cedarcide Original until the problem improves.
Like many insects, earwigs are attracted to lights, especially any lighting positioned or pointing outdoors. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to address this common earwig attractant. A quick switch from traditional light bulbs to sodium bulbs can make a significant difference in the number of earwigs you experience near your home. Giving off a more yellow light, these bulbs lack the blue wavelengths that tend to attract unwanted bugs.
A thriving ecosystem with plenty of birds is often enough to keep unwanted earwig populations in check. Installing a few bird feeders or baths near earwig trouble spots in your yard can provide almost immediate results.
Also known as biting midges or sandflies, no-see-ums are a family of small flies that resemble gnats and mostly feed on plant nectar. If their name didn’t give it away, they’re often impossible to see, as they’re usually no more than 1–3 mm in size (about the size of the point of a pencil!). In fact, most people don’t realize they’ve encountered these bugs until they start to itch. You see, just like mosquitoes, female no-see-ums bite and drink blood, which they require to lay eggs.
But here’s the bad news: no-see-um bites tend to be more painful, more irritating, and more numerous than mosquito bites, which is largely due to the saw-like mouth parts they use to rip into your skin. In other words, you don’t want these bugs anywhere near you, your family, lawn, or pets—and we’re here to help you make that happen. Read on for simple, family-safe strategies for getting rid of these little monsters and preventing their awful bites.
Like with any pest, prevention is unquestionably the best form of no-see-um control, and the easiest way to avoid painful bites. Because of their similar life cycles and environmental needs, preventing no-see-ums looks a lot like basic mosquito prevention. That is to say, it’s all about reducing unnecessary moisture, breeding sites, and common hiding spots. Here are some basic guidelines to follow.
- Maintaining a clean, organized, and trim yard is essential. No-see-ums are attracted to spaces with clutter and dense vegetation, including brush, bushes, and tall grass. Start by removing all non-essential clutter from your yard, especially items that collect moisture like unused equipment, planters, tree stumps, etc. Then, mow and trim shrubbery weekly or more as needed.
- If your lawn includes water features like bird baths, decorative ponds, or fountains, you’ll need to closely monitor these items during spring and summer, cleaning and repairing as necessary. Even better, seriously consider draining these features during peak no-see-um season (Mar.–Sept.).
- To prevent breeding, repair or replace leaky or otherwise faulty drains, pipes, hoses, sprinklers, and faucets ASAP
- Limiting sources of light just outside your home can significantly reduce no-see-um populations. For best results, keep your blinds closed at night and keep your outside lights off during spring and summer. We also suggest trading your traditional light bulbs for those that do not attract bugs, such as yellow compact fluorescent lights (CFL), sodium vapor bulbs, or halogen options.
PREVENT NO-SEE-UM BITES
Nobody wants a body covered in red, swollen, itchy bumps. Thankfully, preventing no-see-um bites with Cedarcide is simple and takes just a few seconds.
Before hiking, camping, lawn work, dog walks, and other activities that could expose you to no-see-ums, apply Cedarcide Original to you, your family, and pets. Then simply reapply every 5-7 hours or after getting wet. Not only is Cedarcide Original non-toxic and safe for your family and pets, it can be used all throughout your home to kill and repel pests like fleas, ticks, ants, mosquitoes, and mites. It’s also a very popular alternative to traditional chemical-based flea & tick products.
RID YOUR LAWN OF NO-SEE-UMS
With the family-safe Lawn + Garden Kit, you can get the bite-free yard you and your family deserve. Best of all, it’s super easy to use and kills and repels all sorts of biting and destructive bugs, not just no-see-ums.
For best results, spray your entire lawn, including shrubbery and bases of trees, with PCO Choice (which is included with the Lawn + Garden Kit). Pay special attention to dense vegetation like bushes, as this is where no-see-ums tend to hide and breed. Then simply spray again in about two weeks and move on to monthly applications after that.
If you’re not currently struggling with no-see-ums and you’re just looking for prevention, you can start with monthly applications right from the beginning. If you live in a warmer region such as the South, applications should be done every month unless the temperature drops below freezing for more than a few weeks. If you live in a cooler climate, start spraying monthly in late February and then taper off in November as winter really starts to set in.
Because PCO Choice is plant-based and family-safe, no downtime is necessary. You, your family, and pets can enjoy your lawn right after application!
For additional protection, we strongly advise spreading Cedar Granules throughout your outdoor space, especially in those areas where you and your family spend the most time, like patios, balconies, BBQs, etc. (Cedar Granules are also included in the Lawn + Garden Kit).
Bug bites happen. And usually by the time you start itching, the bug that got you is long gone. Being able to properly identify a bug bite can not only help you more efficiently treat it, but can be critical in the event your bite becomes a serious medical concern, like in the case of venomous spiders and occasionally ticks and mosquitoes. Below you’ll find some of the most common biting bugs in America, along with info to help identify their bites, and what a typical reaction to that bite might look like.
Ants are one of the most common biting and stinging insects found in the U.S. While rarely a serious medical concern, their bites and stings can be quite unpleasant, especially if you live in the south where so called “fire ants” are commonplace.
Ant bites usually look like small red bumps surrounded by red skin, with a white pus-filled head in the middle.
Unlike ants—which typically bite out of fear or aggression—fleas bite because they’re hungry. These little vampires live off mammal and bird blood and unfortunately we humans are no exception.
Flea bites look not dissimilar to ant bites—essentially, they’re just little red bumps. They usually occur in a cluster of three of four bites and are typically found on the ankles, feet, and lower leg.
When ticks bite, they can hang onto their victims for up to 10 days, which usually makes identifying a tick bite quite easy. Preferring warm, moist locations, tick bites are normally found in hidden areas like the armpit, groin, or on your scalp.
If the tick is no longer attached, identification can be difficult, as tick bites look similar to many other bites: red, irritated skin with mild swelling. There are a couple of main differences though, tick bites, unlike ant and other common insect bites and stings, are not typically filled with pus or any other fluid and rarely if ever cause pain or discomfort.
Because of the potentially serious consequences of a tick bite, contact a physician if you experience any of the following:
- Unusual rashes at or near the bite site.
- Intense pain or irritation
- Extreme Lethargy
- Body aches
- Flu-like symptoms.
- Any other signs or symptoms of infection
- Dizziness or nausea
Few things can ruin outside time like a cloud of bloodthirsty mosquitoes. While intensely itchy in the moment, mosquito bites usually subside quickly, leaving little to no trace in just a few days. Rarely, however, a mosquito bite can cause more serious reactions, like swelling, soreness, blisters, localized pain, hives, even fever.
Mosquito bites tend to produce a puffy, pink bump about the size of a dime initially that hardens and becomes larger over time. Frequent scratching can lead to more severe reactions and in extreme cases infection
Because of the potentially serious nature of mosquito bites, contact a physician if you experience any of the following:
- Large or otherwise unusual swelling and redness
- Body aches
- Flu-like symptoms.
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Any other signs or symptoms of infection
- Dizziness or nausea
The bites of horseflies, deer flies, sand flies, and even some house flies can pack a surprisingly painful punch.
Like most of the bites on this list, fly bites generally cause swelling, skin irritation, and redness at the bite site. Bumps, blisters, rashes, and welts are also common. Fly bites usually occur on the feet, ankles, lower leg, and on the neck and face area.
Because of the potentially serious nature of some fly bites, contact a physician if you experience any of the following:
- Large or otherwise unusual swelling and redness
- Body aches
- Flu-like symptoms.
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Any other signs or symptoms of infection
- Dizziness or nausea
Unlike ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes, thankfully spiders do not transmit disease. In fact, they often make meals out of the biting and stinging insects outlined above, for the most part leaving humans alone unless they feel threatened.
Often about as painful as a bee sting, spider bites tend to cause red, irritated skin with swelling, occasionally accompanied by a rash at the bite site. In some cases, you may even be able to pinpoint two small puncture wounds where the spider’s fangs pierced the skin (don’t worry, it sounds worse than it really is). In rare cases, nausea and dizziness may also occur.
If you experience severe or otherwise unexpected symptoms after a spider bite, or suspect the individual might be venomous like a black widow or brown recluse, contact a physician immediately.
Mite bites are among the hardest bites to identify. Firstly, nearly all mites are microscopic or near microscopic, making a proper diagnosis often impossible. And secondly, reactions to mite bites vary greatly, and are often confused with other causes of dermatitis.
Chiggers are arguably the easiest mite bite to identify. Also known as harvest mites and berry bugs, chiggers live in grassy areas during the spring and summer months, waiting for unsuspecting victims to walk by so they can feed. They latch on, feed on your skin cells for several hours, and then fall off to complete their life cycle. Only a few minutes in chigger-infested areas can leave you with dozens of blisters, rashes, and hives that can itch and hurt for literally months, which can be a real downer during beach season, believe us.
Reddish welts that cause extreme skin irritation once the chigger drops off, these bites almost always occur on areas of the body where skin and clothing are in tight proximity, such as near your socks, waistband, armpits, groin, legs, and back. If you experienced bites that sound like this shortly after exploring the outdoors or sitting in grass, chances are they’re chigger bites.
The bites of other mites, like bird mites and rodent mites, however, aren’t so easy to pinpoint. Reactions can vary from extreme pain and hives to subtler symptoms like mild irritation or a feeling that something’s crawling on your skin. While these types of mites typically prefer non-human hosts, it’s not extremely uncommon for these mites to affect entire households, and sometimes even their pets.
Bites from bird and rodent mites tend to share one common characteristic: skin irritation. Sometimes it’s mild, sometimes it’s severe. If you’re experiencing unknown bug bites with no obvious source, it could have mites.
Sadly for some individuals, mites can be a debilitating, long term problem that can be difficult to get under control. If you’re struggling with mites, we can help. Call us at 800-842-1464 and find relief starting today.
It’s been called “The Best Wood Treatment in the World.”
Decks, fencing, furniture, garden boxes, docks—our increasingly popular wood treatment, Cedarshield, can strengthen and increase the life of any woodworking project, including both hard and soft wood.
But how exactly does it work, how do you apply it, and how much coverage does it get you? If you have questions like this about Cedarshield, this article is for you. Don’t see your question below? Comment, chat, or call us (800-842-1464), and we’ll add it to the list, along with a quick and simple response. Here are you most pressing Cedarshield questions answered:
What’s Coverage Like for Cedarshield?
1 gallon of Cedarshield will treat approx. 200 sq. ft. for thinner wood projects like fences, and 100 sq. ft. for decks, docks and other projects with wooden boards thicker than 2×4 inches.
What’s the Best Way to Apply it?
There are many effective, easy ways to apply Cedarshield. You can do it by soaking/submersion, a compression sprayer, brush, or roller. You’ll know you’ve achieved a successful application once the Cedarshield fluid will no longer soak into the wood and begins beading on the surface instead.
For best results, apply a second treatment after the first application has dried. Cedarshield works best when applied to semi-damp wood in temperatures above 45°F.
What Kind of Wood Can I Use It On?
One of the most convenient features about Cedarshield is that it can be used on all wood types, new, old, hard, or soft—it doesn’t matter!
Do I have to Apply to the Front and Back of Fencing?
If the boards are thicker than 2×4 inches, we recommend applying to both sides to help speed up the application process. However, it’s not always completely necessary and you can still get a proper application without applying to both sides in most cases.
Do I Need to Get Underneath My Deck to Apply?
Like with the question above, ideally, you’d apply to both sides if the chosen wood is thicker than 2×4 inches. Again, though, you can usually get a proper application without applying to both sides.
Should I Use Cedarshield Before Starting My Woodworking Project?
That’s a great and very popular use for Cedarshield! It’s a highly effective way to strengthen and protect your wooden projects right from the get-go.
Can I Use this on Furniture, like Outdoor Seating, Dining Tables, and Cabinets?
Absolutely! If it’s wood, Cedarshield will help strengthen and protect the item from rot, decay, moisture damage, cracking, warping, pests, and more.
Can I Use this on Painted, Stained, or Otherwise Treated Wood
You sure can. For the very best results however, we suggest sanding down the wood first and removing any other debris or dirt that might have accumulated on the surface.
How Long Do I Have to Wait Before Painting or Staining?
It’s best to wait approximately 72 hours after your final Cedarshield application before using paints or stains.
Is it Safe for Garden Boxes/ Raised Garden Beds?
Yep! And it’s one of our fav uses for Cedarshield. No need to worry—Cedarshield will not leach harmful chemicals into your soil or plant life after application.
What Happens if It Gets on My Grass?
You’ll want to do your best to avoid getting it on grass and other non-wood surfaces. Depending on the amount of overspray, Cedarshield can be harmful to plant life.
What is the Difference Between Cedarshield and Cedarshield 4X?
Essentially, Cedarshield 4X is more of a surface sealant that provides UV protection whereas classic Cedarshield is an overall wood preservative that seeps into the wood, removing all moisture and strengthening it against cracking, warping, moisture, and pest damage.
Is Cedarshield a One-And-Done Treatment?
In most cases, yes! For larger projects with especially thick wood, reapplication may be necessary after 5-7 years.
Will it Kill Damaging Bugs like Carpenter Ants, Carpenter Bees, Termites, and Powderpost Beetles?
Although it’s not designed for that purpose and we have not done testing to confirm it, in our customers’ and our own personal experience, Cedarshield will kill any damaging bugs that are currently inside the wood during application. After application, these pests will no longer be attracted to the wood either.
Will it Harm Metal if There’s Overspray?
Although you’ll want to avoid spraying any non-wooden surfaces with Cedarshield, this product is not known to damage metal.
Will it Leach Anything Toxic into the Environment?
Nope! Once dry and fully cured, Cedarshield is safe for our planet, families, and pets.
If It Rains Shortly After Application, Will I Need to Apply Again Before Staining or Sealing My Deck?
Nope! As long as it’s been 72 hours since your final Cedarshield application, rain will present no issue whatsoever.
Do I Need to Wear Protective Equipment When Applying?
Your safety is always our top priority. Just to be careful, we recommend wearing gloves, some type of face mask, and applying in an area with sufficient ventilation, preferably outside. Avoid skin and eye contact, too.
How Do I Store It?
If you store Cedarshield in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight, it will last you many years.
Grubs, the larval form of damaging scarab beetles like June bugs and Japanese beetles, can be a big problem for you and your beautiful lawn. Feeding on your grass’ roots from underground, grubs can cause thousands in damage before you even know they’re in your yard. To make matters worse, once they emerge as fully grown beetles, they’ll continue to tear up your lawn, damaging nearly all plant life they encounter. In only a few short months the beetles will again lay more grub eggs, starting the whole horrible cycle all over again.
Worried you might have grubs or could in the future? Currently struggling with an ongoing grub problem and not sure what to do? We have your back. Below you’ll learn how to identify, prevent, and get rid of grubs without exposing your family or pets to poisonous pesticides.
Not sure if you have a grub problem? Look out for the following signs and symptoms:
- Brown patches of grass
- Spongy, unhealthy spots of grass
- Brittle turf that can be easily pulled from the soil, essentially grass without roots
- Unusually high and sudden wildlife activity, such as birds, reptiles, skunks, and raccoons digging at your lawn.
- Small holes throughout your lawn, usually a sign that animals have been feeding on grubs.
We’ll save you the suspense—your lawn has grubs. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a grub problem. Moderate population sizes are normal and rarely if ever cause much of an issue. In general, 4 or less grubs per square foot is just fine. However, having 5 or more indicates a surging grub population that could cause significant damage and cost you hundreds in the long run. Here’s how to check:
Approach one of the brown, dying patches of turf in your lawn and dig up a square foot of sod about 3 inches deep. Closely inspect the soil looking for white or off-white C-shaved larvae—these are your grubs. If you find 5 or more, you need to act fast before things get worse
Natural, effective, and economical, beneficial nematodes are a popular gardening tool for a reason. Once they’ve taken hold in your lawn, these microscopic, parasitic worms attack grubs, killing them from the inside out.
Because they’re alive and need to remain so to work, make sure to buy your nematodes from a legitimate dealer like your local garden shop, and water your lawn soon after applying them. This approach can take a season or more to be fully effective, so practice additional grub control methods in the meantime. Note: Using traditional, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers can kill nematodes, negating their pest control effect.
Lasting upwards of 20 years, a dose of milky spore introduced into your lawn can often solve grub issues outright. While it can take around 3 years for the bacterium to totally eradicate ongoing grub problems, the investment is well worth your time.
Note: Using traditional, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers can kill milky spore bacteria, negating their pest control effect.
Feeding on both grubs, their adult beetle form, and countless other unwanted bugs, birds are arguably nature’s most efficient pest control tool. Attracting them is usually as simple as adding a few baths and/or feeders to your yard. You should notice a drop in your grub and beetle populations almost immediately.
Adult grub beetles tend to avoid laying their eggs in longer, healthier grass. Simply keeping your grass to no less than 2 inches long during the fall, spring, and late summer can dramatically decrease and in many cases prevent grub problems.
Additionally, healthy lawns are overall far less vulnerable to grub and other pest problems compared to those in poor shape. Seeding and fertilizing patchy or otherwise damaged areas of your lawn during both spring and summer is another simple but effective way to deter grubs. For best results, avoid synthetic fertilizers and practice natural pest prevention. Don’t worry, our Lawn & Garden Kit has you covered in the bug department.
Overly wet or consistently moist lawns are known to foster larger, more damaging grub populations. To avoid this costly scenario, water your lawn as little as possible through July, August, and the latter parts of June. Doing this will help dehydrate and kill any grub eggs buried in your yard, dramatically reducing how many grubs you’ll experience the following year.
We know it’s not easy to avoid watering your lawn as often during the warmer months, but so long as your grass is in good shape, it should bounce back to full health as soon as you begin watering again.
We all know June bugs, those annoying, buzzing beetles that despite centuries of evolution still haven’t quite figured out how to yet. But did you know the term “June bug” actually includes a wide variety of plant-eating beetles, including the infamously damaging Japanese beetle? Regardless of the species you experience in your region, these scarab beetles and their larval grub form can cause serious damage to your lawn & garden—and fast!
Also called May or June beetles, June bugs emerge each year in late spring and typically fade completely away by late summer. However, to successfully control these pests, you’ll need to take action at various points throughout the year, not just summer. Don’t worry, it’s not complicated, doesn’t take that much time, and you don’t have to resort to poisonous pesticides to get the job done. Here’s how to get rid of June bugs naturally
Female June bugs lay eggs in the soil in mid summer and these soon hatch into grubs, which remain just under the surface of the ground through fall. They dig deeper down into your lawn as winter nears and hide out there until they emerge as adult beetles in late spring. Here are some steps you can take to disrupt this life cycle, helping you prevent costly June bug problems before they begin:
- Frequently irrigating your lawn’s turf throughout late June can help discourage females from laying eggs in your yard.
- Throughout June bug season—late spring through summer—avoid cutting your grass too short, aiming for about 3 inches instead. Females prefer to lay their eggs in shorter grass and keeping your turf a little longer can really cut down on the number of eggs that end up in your yard.
- If you garden, make sure to harvest fruits and veggies early and often.
- Lastly, and this is perhaps the most important step to prevent June bug problems, maintain a healthy lawn. If your lawn is host to various other harmful bugs or in otherwise poor condition, it’s going to be far more attractive to June bugs. To protect your yard from damaging pests, apply PCO Choice and Cedar Granules every 4-6 weeks from early March through late October.
A little molasses and hot water can go a long way toward shrinking your June bug population. Mix 1 part of each into an empty jar and position the open container near known June bug attractants like plant life and outdoor lighting. They drop in, drown, end of story. Check the trap daily and replenish as needed.
June bugs are clumsy, fly low, and therefore fairly easy to catch. It might seem silly, but collecting these beetles by hand is a quick and effective approach for helping get a June problem under control.
Just catch any adult beetles you spot on vegetation or buzzing around outside and dump them in a cup of soapy water. June bugs usually won’t put up much of a fight during the process, but wear gloves just in case—several species have thorny spikes on their legs that can irritate skin if you grab them just right.
You know how they say the enemy of your enemy is your friend? Well, snakes, birds, frogs, toads, and lizards are known June bug predators, meaning they double as effective allies in your battle to get rid of them.
Encourage birds by offering baths and feeders, and attract reptiles and amphibians by providing shallow dishes of water and cool, dark places to hide, like an overturned planter for instance. If you tend to struggle with mosquitoes, this approach likely isn’t for you. Adding additional water sources to your lawn is a big no-no when it comes to mosquito control.
The easiest way to prevent June bug problems is to target them in their vulnerable, yet still damaging larval stage, aka grubs. Popular in gardening circles, the microscopic parasitic worms known as beneficial nematodes can help you in this arena. Simply pick some up at your local garden store or online and introduce them into your lawn as directed. For best results, apply them in early fall or mid spring.
Bacillus thuringiensis, like beneficial nematodes, can be introduced into your lawn’s soil to attack June bugs in their grub stage. A bacterium that’s toxic to many undesirable garden pests when ingested, Bt can be picked up a your local garden store and usually comes in either a powder or liquid form. And don’t worry, it’s not toxic to pets or people.
Simply sprinkle or spray Bt throughout your yard or the most affected areas, like your garden. If you tend to experience heavy June Bug problems annually, you might need to reapply every few weeks during fall and early spring.
Trust us, you never want grasshoppers anywhere near your home. They’re arguably the most destructive pest you can have in your lawn or garden, capable of undoing all the time, effort, and money you’ve invested in your outdoor space in a matter of hours.
For context, grasshoppers commonly eat 50% of their weight in a single day, with studies showing that grasshoppers eat ¼ of the total available plant material in the Western U.S. Pretty, shocking right!? In fact, estimates indicate that only 6-7 adult grasshoppers per square yard on a 10 acre plot eat as much plant life as a fully grown cow.
Whether you’ve already spotted grasshoppers lurking in your garden or you simply want to make sure that never happens, the following natural tips will help you protect your precious crops and flowers from voracious grasshoppers and their infamous damage.
Floating row covers are essentially just lightweight rows of material gardeners use to shield their crops from weather and pest damage. As you might expect, these can help protect your flowers and veggies from grasshoppers, too. For best results, employ floating row covers starting in the earliest days of spring, just as the grasshoppers begin to hatch and emerge.
Made from fossilized sea organisms, diatomaceous earth (aka DE) is a natural pest control tool popular among gardeners. This highly effective, powdery insecticide is sharp and angular at the microscopic level, damaging any bugs that come into contact with it, causing them to die via dehydration.
To kill and repel grasshoppers, dust vulnerable plants and other high traffic areas with a light layer of DE. Then simply wait for it to take effect.
Laid near the end of summer, Grasshopper eggs persist in the soil through winter and finally begin to hatch in early spring. In addition to improving the health and productivity of your garden, tilling in fall and/or spring can help disrupt this cycle, preventing any of the eggs from producing more ravenous grasshoppers.
Used in much the same way as diatomaceous earth, salt-less all-purpose flour can be sprinkled on plant life to deter and kill grasshoppers. While DE works via dehydration, flour works by clogging up the grasshoppers’ mouth parts, usually leading to starvation.
Grasshoppers might eat a lot, but there are a lot of things that eat them. Welcoming natural grasshopper predators like chickens, guinea hens, and common lawn birds into your yard can substantially shrink an ongoing grasshopper problem. Installing bird feeders is an easy way to help this process along without purchasing any fowl of your own.
Frogs, toads, and lizards are also known to munch on grasshoppers. So If you have a natural body of water nearby or a lawn friendly to amphibians, introducing a few reptiles into your outdoor ecosystem is another effective approach.
Bottom line: The healthier your lawn and garden, the less vulnerable it will be to damaging pests, grasshoppers included. To kill and repel unwanted bugs—including harmful pests like ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas—spray your entire yard and garden each month with family-safe PCO Choice. We also suggest broadcasting Cedar Granules throughout your lawn and garden for additional natural pest protection.
Because PCO Choice is plant-based and pet-safe, you and your family can enjoy your lawn immediately after application. No downtime necessary.
Relatives of ticks, chiggers pack one of the most irritating bites on the planet. To make matters worse, they’re nearly microscopic and you won’t know they’ve bitten you until hours after it happens. Even just a few moments in chigger-infested grass can leave you host to blisters, rashes, and hives that can last for months. Trust us, having your body covered in dozens of swollen, itchy bites can really put a damper on pool and beach season, not to mention long summer days spent with family and friends.
Also known as harvest mites and berry bugs, chiggers live in grassy areas during the spring and summer months, just waiting for an unsuspecting victim to walk by so they can hitch a ride and feed. Contrary to hearsay, these arachnids don’t actually burrow into the body. Instead, they inject you with digestive enzymes that allow them to drink up your skin, leaving tell-tale clusters of red bumps commonly found on waistlines, ankles, armpits, and the crotch region.
In short, you don’t want these bugs anywhere near your home, family, or pets. We’re here to help you make that happen. Here’s how to get rid of chiggers with Cedarcide in 3 simple steps.
Preventing chiggers from setting up camp in your lawn comes down to 4 main things: deterring wildlife, wearing chigger repellent when necessary, maintaining your yard, and limiting outdoor moisture.
Common wildlife like birds, reptiles, and rodents can not only introduce chiggers into our lawns but also attract them. Reducing unnecessary clutter like unused or outdated equipment, keeping shrubbery trim, and sealing attractants like trash cans will help limit the number of wild animals you experience in and around your lawn. Installing fencing will also help considerably.
WEAR CHIGGER REPELLENT WHEN NECESSARY
It’s not uncommon for chiggers to hitch a ride on our own bodies, clothing, and pets. If one of those happens to fall off into your lawn you could have a thriving chigger population in no time. To avoid this, apply Cedarcide Original to you, your family, and pets before entering wooded spaces and areas with tall grass.
MAINTAIN YOUR YARD
Like most pests, chiggers love areas that offer dense vegetation to hide and breed. In other words, the more overgrown your lawn, the more likely you are to get chiggers. Do yourself a favor, and regularly mow, trim, weed-eat, and clear brush as needed during the warmer months of the year.
Without moist vegetation or consistent water sources, chiggers will not be able to live in your lawn for very long. Anything that adds extra moisture to your yard—such as leaky faucets, hoses, sprinklers, and items that collect rainwater—should be repaired, replaced, or removed.
You don’t have to resort to scary chemicals to keep chiggers out of your lawn. Applying our family-safe lawn treatment PCO Choice to your yard and garden monthly will kill and repel chiggers along with many other common, unwanted pests.
Application is easy. To prevent chiggers before they become a serious problem, spray your entire front and back yards with PCO Choice monthly, including shrubbery and small trees. For warmer regions, applications should be done every month unless the temperature drops below freezing for more than several weeks. If you live in a colder climate, we suggest spraying monthly through October and then starting up again in early March.
If you’re currently experiencing those horrible chigger bites and seem to be facing an ongoing population in your yard, start by spraying your entire outdoor space twice, two weeks apart, and then move on to monthly preventative applications afterward.
Because PCO Choice is plant-based and family-safe, no downtime is necessary. You, your family, and pets can enjoy your yard immediately after application!
For additional chigger protection, we strongly suggest broadcasting Cedar Granules throughout your lawn and garden, especially in the areas where you’re experiencing the most chigger activity.
This is the big one. After all, none of us would likely mind having chiggers around if they weren’t so keen on biting us all the time.
Meet the only chigger repellent you’ll ever need: Cedarcide Original. It’s family and pet-safe, and can be used on clothing, footwear, outdoor gear, as well as your cat or dog. Simply apply before outdoor activities like dog walks, hikes, jogs, or backyard time to prevent chigger bites. For best results, reapply every 5-7 hours and after getting wet. That’s all there is to it.
They look like something out of a sci-fi movie or horror flick. They literally have the word “murder” in their name. They pack one of the most painful and deadly stings on the planet. At roughly 2 inches, the Asian giant hornet, aka “murder hornet,” is currently the most talked about and feared bug on the planet—and now it’s in the United States.
You’ve probably heard tons about these terrifying insects already, seen dozens of stories in your social media feeds, local news reports, people at work won’t quit talking about it. But what’s the big deal? Why does it matter that this invasive species has found its way across the ocean and into our own backyards? Here’s the answer:
This somewhat dramatic fact is one of the main reasons for all the murder hornet commotion. Likened to searing hot metal driven into your skin, the sting of the Asian giant hornet is infamously excruciating and occasionally lethal. While deaths are rare, reports indicate these mammoth hornets kill roughly 50 people annually across Japan alone.
The truth is unless you live in Washington State (where the first U.S. “murder hornet” sightings have occurred), you almost certainly do not have to worry about getting stung. Even if you do and even if you were to get stung, it’s very unlikely you would suffer a life-threatening reaction. Our children, the elderly, and our pets are at the highest risk of experiencing a potentially fatal “murder hornet” encounter.
Environmental changes and broad, indiscriminate pesticide use have crippled our globe’s bee populations for decades to come (since 2012, beekeepers have reported annual hive losses from 29-45%). The last thing our pollinating friends need is another enemy—and then here comes the Asian giant hornet, ruthlessly efficient killer of bee colonies.
During the last weeks of summer and early fall, Asian giant hornets are known to work in groups to strike at the nests of other social insects, including vital honey bees. This so called “slaughter and occupation phase” sees the “murder hornets” living up to their name, often decapitating and dismembering an entire colony in just a few short hours. Apart from the devastating environmental effects, thriving murder hornet populations could have a massive impact on our country’s agricultural system, too, which depends largely on pollinators like honey bees. The financial toll of this impact could be severe, more on that next.
The USDA estimates about 35% of the world’s food crops rely directly on pollinators like honey bees to reproduce. Similarly, 1 out of every 3 bites of food in American is linked to honey bee pollination. In other words, if these “murder hornets” set up shop in the U.S., further debilitating local bee populations, it could potentially cost our country billions in economic hardship, to say nothing of the damage to residents’ personal lawns and gardens.
“People are afraid of the wrong thing. The scariest insects out there are mosquitoes. People don’t think twice about them. If anyone’s a murder insect, it would be a mosquito.”
The above words by University of Illinois entomologist May Berenbaum are something we should all take to heart. Bottom line: Mosquitoes are a much more serious and imminent threat to our families and pets than Asian giant hornets.
SOME FACTS TO CONSIDER:
- “Murder hornets” only sting when provoked. Mosquitoes require no such provocation and bite freely when they require a blood meal.
- Asian giant hornets kill at most 50-100 people across the globe annually. The World Health Organization estimates Mosquitoes are responsible for roughly millions of deaths each year, mostly by helping spread diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and rarer illnesses such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
- Lastly and perhaps most crucially, there are currently thousands of species of mosquitoes throughout the U.S., a population size whose individuals outnumber our own. Think about that: during mosquito season, there are more mosquitoes on the planet than humans, more than almost any other animal on the planet. Murder hornets, on the other hand, are limited to just a few known individuals in Washington State alone.