Tag Archives: Insect Control

Spring Is Here! It’s Time To Apply Dormant Oil

It is time to apply Dormant Oil in the Treasure Valley, as Spring is here!

Applying dormant oil will help protect your Trees & Shrubs from damage causing insects that overwinter within your landscape.

Late in the summer, early fall, damage causing insects like aphids, mites and scale lay eggs on trees through the winter months until new larvae are born. These larvae cause major damage to your precious trees and shrubs.

Luckily, you can protect your landscape with the use of dormant oils. A dormant oil application applied while the trees are still dormant will help control overwintering insects by coating the insects spiracles, which in turns smothers the larvae. Horticultural Dormant Oils are less toxic to to beneficial insects, like lady bugs, as well as birds.

Horticultural dormant oil will help keep your trees and shrubs healthy and will give you a head start on managing these damage causing insects throughout the season. Dormant oil is one of the most important treatments for your fruit trees as well.

Timing is everything to maximize the effectiveness of a dormant oil application.

– Timing of application- Dormant oil needs applied when trees are completely dormant and before the trees and shrubs produce new growth. Applications done in late winter or early spring are ideal, when temperatures are above 35 degrees. if applied too early, it can cause winter injury to the tree and if applied too late it can damage new growth.

We have specialized programs to fit the need of your landscape. For more information about a treatment plan, contact us today, as we have 8 Certified Arborists on staff.

Visit us here :http://www.summerlawnsinc.com to request a Free Consultation!

You can also reach us by phone at 208-939-8469, or you can chat with us on our website.

Fall Pest Prevention Special

Now that the fall pest season is upon us here in the Treasure Valley, pests are wandering inside looking for warm, safe place to hide in time for the cold winter months. Unwanted pests such as spiders, are already invading your home seeking shelter.

A proactive approach in the fall will prevent these pests from taking over your home this winter. Below are some great tips to help keep your home pest free this winter.

-Keep trees and shrubs trimmed back and away from your home.
-Seal around all doors and entry ways, windows and vents.
-Seal any cracks in the foundation or exterior of your home.
-Have a fall exterior pest barrier applied to keep out pests.

At Summer Lawns, we have many options for pest prevention depending on your specific need to ensure you, your family and your home are protected against unwanted pests. We will also de-web your home at no extra charge.

We’re currently offering special pricing on our Fall Pest Prevention Application, so contact us today for more information!

Visit us at www.summerlawnsinc.com to request a free quote or pest consultation online in just a few clicks.  You can also reach us at 208-939-8469.


Cottony Maple Scale: Have You Seen This Insect?

Cottony Maple Scale is starting to hatch in the Treasure Valley.   Did you know this is actually an insect?


This damage causing insect is a sucking insect that has
a straw like mouth it uses to feed itself on the leaves of the host tree.  In large numbers they can do serious damage to the tree.

There are many types of scale, but here in the Treasure Valley we mainly find various types of soft scale. The most prevalent form we come across is Cottony Maple Scale. It is characterized by the puffs of cotton like material of their egg sac.  Once the eggs hatch, the babies crawl to the nearest leaf and begin to suck all the nutrients out of it. It is typically at this time that you start to see the leaves turn shiny and a sticky residue appears on anything under the plant. This feeding damages the tree and causes a mess of whatever is underneath.

If you have a Cottony Maple Scale issue, and for more information about a treatment plan, contact us today, as we have 7 Certified Arborists on staff.

Visit us here :http://www.summerlawnsinc.com to request a Free Consultation!

You can also reach us by phone at 208-939-8469.

Are Your Birch Trees Protected From Borers?

We are seeing an increased number of Birch Trees being demolished by the bronze birch borer in Boise, Meridian and Eagle. The bronze birch borer is a wood boring beetle that attacks all types of birch trees. (Say that 3 times fast!)

These borers are damage causing insects that primarily attack unhealthy trees that are stressed due to a lack of nutrients, drought, compacted soil, aphids, and all types of other insect damage. The larvae feed on the inner sapwood disrupting the flow of water and nutrients. This is why you typically notice random die back of limbs throughout the tree where borer damage has occurred.

Birch Bores 2
A few simple ways to determine if this is happening to your birch trees:

  • Yellowing foliage — It usually appears first in the upper portion of the tree (the crown).  If it’s a serious infestation, it will cause branches to start dying.  A hot summer can actually kill a birch tree in one season.
  • Raised ridges — If you see a raised ridge, often in a zig zag under the bark, it’s a sure sign.  If you were to cut back the bark, you would see the tunneling caused by the larvae.
  • Holes in the bark — When the adult borers emerge from the tree, they bore out a small hole, and usually is accompanied by sap.

The below image shows untreated Birch Trees over just a few seasons:

birch trees

The best way to control borer insects, is through a tree care program which is intended to keep the trees healthy and insect free. A preventative systemic treatment along with a regular treatment plan is what is needed along with proper watering.

We have specialized programs to meet the needs of your landscape and we have 7 ISA Certified Arborists on staff that can prescribe the right plan for your trees and shrubs.

Please request a free analysis and quote through our website www.summerlawnsinc.com or give us a call at #208-939-8469.

Does Your Elm Tree Have Gall?

All around the Treasure Valley, we have been finding Elm Trees with reddish galls (they look like a Red Wart) covering the new foliage. Gall is an irregular plant growth which is stimulated by the reaction between plant hormones and insect and mites growth regulating chemicals. The elm gall is found directly on the leaves of the elm tree. The inner walls of the gall provide protection from insecticide sprays, natural predators and provide a source of food for the insect. Once the gall appears it is almost impossible to control other than by pruning out the infected limbs. Gall does not necessarily affect the overall health of the tree, but does cause unsightly wart like aesthetics on the trees leaves.
elm tree gall
The best way to control Gall is by reducing the infestation during the season through an annual proactive tree and shrub care program.

We have specialized programs to meet the needs of your landscape and we have 7 ISA Certified Arborists on staff that can prescribe the right plan for your trees and shrubs.

Please request a free analysis and quote through our website www.summerlawnsinc.com or give us a call at #208-939-8469.

Billbugs Are Coming For Your Lawn!

One of the biggest lawn issues homeowners in the Treasure Valley face is BILLBUG DAMAGE.

Billbugs are insects that damage the lawn by feeding on the roots. Infestations of Billbugs may completely kill the lawn if left untreated.  Healthy, well fertilized and watered lawns tolerate injury from billbugs better than stressed lawns which lack proper nutrients. We battle two types of Billbugs here in the Treasure Valley, first the Bluegrass Billbug, then later on in the summer the Denver Billbug.

Billbug Larvae
billbugAndLarvaeAdult Billbug

A preventative lawn treatment is needed before the damage occurs and the lawn becomes brown. Don’t let these grubs take away your beautiful lawn. No lawn is safe when it comes to these damage causing insects. If you miss the preventative treatment, do not worry we can get your lawn back with a specialized lawn care program.

Please request a free analysis and quote through our website www.summerlawnsinc.com or give us a call at #208-939-8469.

Hey Mosquito, Bug Off!


Mosquitoes feed on the blood of humans and animals as they need the iron and protein to produce their eggs. When a mosquito pierces your skin to feed on your blood, their saliva contains enzymes and proteins that reduces our blood clotting ability.  Most people are allergic to these enzymes and they are what causes an irritating and itchy rash.

Aside from being a serious nuisance, mosquito bites can be much more serious, as mosquitoes carry viruses and pathogens in their salivary glands.  These viruses and pathogens end up being injected into the next host when they pierce your skin.  It is estimated that the West Nile Virus is found in over 60 species of mosquitoes, and is considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be a serious neurological disease.

The CDC has reported that since 1999 there have been over 40,000 cases diagnosed, that have resulted in over 1,700 deaths in the United States.


During the day, adult mosquitoes will find resting spots in lawns, landscape shrubbery, and other heavy vegetated areas.  A mosquito Adulticide treatment is most effective during normal daytime hours, when mosquitoes are resting.

A properly timed treatment will reduce and in most cases completely eliminate adult mosquitoes on your property for 3 – 4 weeks when standing water and breeding areas are minimized.


Our local Mosquito Abatement Districts regularly check current mosquito larvae populations, and apply Larvicides directly to water sources that hold mosquito eggs, larvae, and pupae.  Larvicides can help reduce the overall mosquito population by helping limit the number of new mosquitoes that hatch.  The CDC recommends an integrated program for mosquito control including:

  • Surveillance & Monitoring of Mosquito Activity Levels
  • Reduction of Breeding Sites
  • Use of Larvicides & Adulticides

Don’t hesitate to give us a call at our office at 208-939-8469, or request a free quote on our website.  We’ve already started our Mosquito Reduction Program this season.  Let us help you take the bite out of Mosquitoes this Summer!

The Trifecta of Tree & Shrub Damage

Lately, Summer Lawns has been asked by clients for our exclusive ISA Certified Arborist Consultations.  We’re being asked on a daily basis to determine what is wrong with plant material all over the Treasure Valley and prescribe a treatment to attempt to return it to full health.

Why are there so many damaged plants in the Treasure Valley this Spring?  This past winter, we had the Trifecta of Tree & Shrub Damage.

  1. Early November Freeze — Trees and shrubs must transition into the winter gradually through a process called winter acclimation or commonly referred to as “hardening off”.  If this winter acclimation process does not gradually happen, it will most likely result in dead plant tissue. Sometimes this only kills a branch or two, sometimes it can kill the entire plant.
  2. Dehydration — The dryness of this past winter caused dehydration and winter browning to most plant material. If you have noticed a tree or shrub that was Western or Southern facing in your landscape and it didn’t make it through the harsh winter, dehydration can be the main reason.
  3. Early February Warm Up — Due to the warmer weather we experienced in February, most trees and shrubs started to transition out of dormancy.  We had a cold snap again in March, which didn’t allow enough time for the trees and shrubs to go dormant again.

Check out some of the damaged plant material we’ve found lately.

winterdamage#6 winterdamage#5


winterdamage#2 winterdamage#3


All of the damaged trees and shrubs you see throughout the Treasure Valley, are extremely susceptible to disease and insects. However, we can help and it’s not too late! Our ISA Certified Arborists can diagnose and prescribe the proper nutrient based program to put your trees and shrubs on the road to recovery.

Please let us help you with our exclusive FREE ISA Certified Arborist Consultation.  It’s easy, all you have to do is a free analysis and quote through our website!

Visit us here: http://www.summerlawnsinc.com

Protect Your Trees & Shrubs From Aphids

Now that your trees and shrubs are waking up, so are aphids and other damage causing insects. Aphids are found on all types of plants and can cause severe injury.

Aphids cause foliage to curl from sucking the sap from your plants. This feeding can cause wilting and dieback of shoots and buds, not to mention the mess caused by excreting honeydew. Honeydew is a sticky fluid that can attract other insects such as wasps. It also will make a sticky mess on whatever is below, such as vehicles and concrete. Gray sooty mold can also grow on the honeydew, further damaging the overall plant appearance.

We have specialized programs to meet the exact needs of your landscape and we have 7 ISA Certified Arborists on staff that would love to prescribe the right plan for your trees and shrubs.

Request a free analysis and quote on our website at www.summerlawnsinc.com or give us a call at 208-939-8468.