With so much vegetation in the yard many people overlook one of the top hiding spots for insects – the lawn. How we water our lawns could turn the yard into a playground for pests.
Lawn watering is a careful balance of providing adequate moisture without overdoing it. Below we’ve outlined the best watering practices that allow plants to survive without inviting pests to live on your property.
Know Your Grass to Know How Much Water is Enough
The majority of lawns only need about an inch of water a week. But the type of grass you have, amount of shade, type of soil and the current weather conditions can all influence how much or little water your lawn needs.
Identifying the type of grass you have can improve the efficiency of water as well as pest control treatments. The U.S. National Arboretum can provide more insight on which types of grasses naturally grow in your region. You may be able to identify the grass on your own by carefully examining the youngest grass leaves from the center of the shoot. They’ll be folded or rolled in the bud, which will narrow the options down. The way grass grows and the rest of its anatomy are also based on its species.
The Purdue turf diagnostic tool is a great resource for analyzing grass anatomy and identification.
Choose the Right Type of Sprinklers for Your Yard Size
There is no shortage of sprinkler options, but they aren’t one-size-fits-all. Some options include:
- Small Yards – Watering with a hose or hose-end sprinklers
- Medium Yards – Rotary sprinklers or hose-end sprinklers
- Large Yards – Rotary sprinklers or oscillating sprinklers
In-ground sprinkler systems can be customized to fit virtually any yard, and they are typically worth the investment if you have a medium to large yard. To minimize evaporation loss use low-angle heads close to the turf. If you see a water mist or fog around the sprinkler heads lower the water pressure.
Look Out for Grade Issues and Low Spots Where Water Can Puddle
The lawn itself can create problems while watering if there are low areas, potholes or an uneven grade. These conditions typically cause water to puddle in an area. This cannot only damage your lawn it can also give mosquitoes a place to lay eggs.
Potholes, mounds and dips can be corrected by simply removing or adding soil until the surface is flat. Drainage issues require a little more work. You’ll have to dig up trenches in your yard, but drain tiles can help redirect the water so it benefits your lawn instead of making it a soggy mess.
Make Sure Sprinkler Heads Aren’t Broken
Do you have a sprinkler system? Sprinkler systems make lawn watering easy and efficient, but if the components aren’t working properly it can do more harm than good. Broken sprinkler heads are a common issue that causes puddles of water to form. These puddles are the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Make Sure the Soil Near the Foundation Isn’t Too Dry
In some environments when the soil gets drenched then dries out it can cause shifts and expansion that increases the chance of foundation cracks. These cracks give insects an easy way into your home.
It’s best to keep the soil around the home’s foundation evenly moist. The best way to do this is with a drip irrigation system that’s 8-18 inches away from the foundation. If you have good drainage around your home a soaker hose is also viable option that’s extremely easy and affordable. Both drip irrigation systems and soaker hoses can be attached to an outdoor faucet by way of a faucet splitter. A timer can also be added so over-watering doesn’t become an issue.
Keep Water Off of Structures
If the siding of your home, porch or patio is getting wet every time you water the lawn it’s increasing the chance of water damage. Destructive pests like termites and carpenter ants seek out water damaged wood because it’s easier to chew through. If you notice that structures are wet after watering the lawn take a few minutes to watch the sprinklers and make adjustments so the spray span is minimized.
No matter what type of watering system you use Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Inc. can help you control lawn insects with regular pest control treatments. We customize every treatment so all of your lawn pest problems are addressed. Our certified technicians can also help you identify problems like uneven soil grade and provide solutions that will discourage pests from sticking around on your property.