Many people love the feeling of looking out to their lawn and seeing lush, green grass before them. A beautiful yard makes for an amazing outdoor environment, as well as a great addition to a home’s curb appeal.
When you think of pests, you may think of damage to your home rather than your lawn. You may have already researched topics such as if damage from ants is covered by insurance, but your mind may not have wandered to the idea of how to deal with outdoor pests.
The truth is, pests can be just as damaging to your lawn as they can be to your home. There are many obvious ways to get rid of them, but you may feel strongly against using things such as harsh chemicals, which could harm the environment.
You may already be aware of environmentally friendly landscaping choices such as opting for solar-powered lights and choosing native plants for your garden, but how do you keep pests away while staying all-natural?
Identifying the Problem
The first step you need to take is to figure out what exactly is causing the damage to your lawn. If you don’t know what you’re dealing with, you won’t know how to properly solve the problem.
You see, different types of pests will cause different types of damage. So visually assessing your lawn is the first step to take in determining what is causing the trouble.
Some of the most common lawn problems caused by pests are:
- Brown spots
- Dead or dying grass patches
- Bite marks on grass
- Wilting grass blades
If you notice any of these problems or others on your lawn, it may be time to start looking into treatment options.
Brown Spots or Patches
There are a few different pests that can be the culprit of brown spots showing up on your lawn. Determining which pest is causing your issues can help you solve the problem correctly.
Grubs can be a major problem when it comes to brown spots. They can typically be identified by the brown spots they leave behind after eating away the roots. These patches will be able to easily be pulled away from the rest of your lawn.
Another way to determine if grubs are your source is to look for burrowing holes. Grubs will attract predators who are hungry to munch on them, leaving dug holes throughout your yard.
So what should you do if you have determined grubs are what is causing your yard grief?
- Birds – Birds are a great natural way to get rid of annoying grubs eating up your lawn. Simply add some bird feeders, a bird bath, or both, and attract them to your yard. They will handle the rest.
- Neem Oil – Neem oil is an eco-friendly way to get those grubs gone. There are many natural bug repellents that can be made with neem oil, and it also works as a preventative measure to avoid future grubs coming along.
- Borax – Borax is powerful but can be troublesome. If used excessively, it can lead to even more dead grass. To use sparingly, mix one tablespoon of borax into a spray bottle of warm water and spray over your yard’s trouble spots.
Fungus can be another cause of brown patches riddling your yard. If you notice curricular shaped brown patches or thin, irregular shaped brown or yellow spots on your grass blades, you may have a fungus problem.
The bad news about fungus is that, if left untreated, it can eventually spread and continue killing more and more grass in its path. You’ll want to get ahead of the problem before you’re left trying to salvage damaged landscaping.
The good news is that there are some very eco-friendly ways to get rid of fungus before it can do more damage.
- Baking Soda – You can mix liquid soap, baking soda, and water to create a natural fungus killer. Spray onto problem areas to stop the spread and get rid of the fungus.
- Neem Oil – Neem oil shows up time and time again to help get rid of pests naturally. Creating a fungal killer from neem oil is a great eco-friendly way to clear up any fungus problems.
Holes in the Yard
Holes in the yard can be cause for concern. You may be out to water your lawn and notice a hole that shouldn’t be there.
Though there are many sources that could be the culprit, rodents are the most worrisome. Pests such as gophers, moles, or voles can wreak havoc on your yard and leave it riddled with holes.
Typically these pests will leave signs letting you know they are the ones causing the damage. Look out for scattered holes throughout the yard. This is typical of rodents. The holes may be covered by a hill of earth, depending on your problem pest.
The most eco-friendly way to rid yourself of these pests will be to trap and relocate them humanely.
If you think you may have a recurring problem, purchasing a humane trap may work well so you are able to reuse it. If you think you will only need the trap once, you may look into borrowing or renting a trap.
Baiting the trap with something the rodent enjoys will lure them into the trap, and then you will be able to move them to a nice location, away from your lawn.
You may also use castor oil to rid your lawn of rodent pests. This method will not kill gophers, moles, or voles, but it will make them feel a little sick and likely avoid your lawn in the future.
To use the castor oil method successfully, mix three parts castor oil to one part dish soap. Then add four tablespoons to a gallon of water. Spray the mixture on tunnels and holes to get rid of the pests and encourage them to find a new place to dig.
A Pest-Free Lawn, Naturally
Dealing with pests in your lawn can feel overwhelming. With so many harsh chemicals out there, it can be difficult to determine how to rid your yard of these annoyances without harming the environment.
These natural remedies will allow you to rest easy knowing your yard is pest-free, and that you’re not impacting the environment in a harmful way.