By Stephanie Trimmer, Professional Grounds, Inc.

There are many products marketed to safely control insect infestations but many of them are indeed more harsh, and not as safe for the environment and those living in it, as people would expect. We see many people using these products without much understanding of the danger their uses pose. In general, there seems to be an outlook that the mere presence of insects in your landscape is reason enough for pesticide treatment; however, the presence of insects alone are not cause for alarm or harsh chemical treatment to eradicate them. At Professional Grounds, we believe that insect presence should be welcomed, as it is beneficial for the balance of nature; therefore, we don’t suggest automatically reaching for the nearest pesticide or insecticide spray to protect your outdoor plantings. We recommend taking a more ‘preventative approach’ to insect control by using timely applications of horticultural oils and other more natural products applied at key times throughout the year to deter major insect infestations that cause landscape damage. Insect infestations are typically most problematic between late spring and early fall. By the beginning of May we see mites, aphids, lace bugs and a plethora of other insects starting to hatch. In order to thrive, these insects must find a food source and shelter. Where’s the perfect place? Likely on one of your favorite or most prized plants or trees. Oh, the agony! Why did they have to choose THAT plant?! The Pros at Professional Grounds understand your pain. We have all experienced that one plant we favored over all the others fall victim to one predator or another and its awful! We surely believe having a beautiful and healthy landscape is important, but over the years, the use of too many harsh chemicals and other environmentally hazardous practices have been implemented in pursuit of that goal. This is why we feel it is important, and achievable, to protect the environment while managing these infestations. Professional Grounds found the perfect balance by Integrated Pest Management, also known as ‘IPM’, to best control infestations. Our IMP differs from other pest management practices in that we don’t attempt to eliminate all insects, instead we monitor pest numbers and if we find that over population is causing harmful plant damage we move to eradicate the infestation using the least invasive treatment for the plant and the environment. Our IPM clients are pleasantly surprised, that sometimes, this requires measures as simple as pruning off the affected part of a plant. Viola! Seems pretty straight forward, right? Well, not always. With an IPM method, monthly monitoring is required to protect the plants health and monitor insect presence. This approach takes a little more time and energy than simply applying preventative pesticide applications throughout the year but what it also does is helps keep our environment free of unnecessary chemicals and additives. Sometimes we are required to use additional measures to control an insect invasion, such as chemicals. In this case, we use the product which is least harmful to the plant and the environment. All of the products we use are EPA approved and our registered applicators are trained and licensed by the State to ensure products are applied at the proper rate, to target only the specific infestation present so that we don’t harm other beneficial insects or wildlife in the process of controlling the harmful ones.

Contact the pros at Professional Grounds, Inc. for all your commercial maintenance needs today!