Bug Blog

BugMaster & Sexton Landscaping Tackle Summer ’16


Is your property ready for this summer’s increase in pest activity? The vice president of BugMaster, Austin Key, and CEO of Sexton Landscaping, Sid Sexton, are teaming up to discuss issues they have recently observed in Lower Alabama. Each company has over 40 years of professional experience in its respective industry! They’re here to give local property owners a heads up on what to watch out for this summer. 

1) What lawn and pest issues should Mobile and Baldwin County residences be aware of this summer?

Sid: A lot of lawn damage! We have noticed a rise in mole cricket and fire ant issues throughout lawns in Lower Alabama. Since these issues are occurring earlier in the season, they will be a bigger issue than in previous years.

Austin: We have been experiencing the same. However, many homeowners are not familiar with Mole crickets. These bizarre burrowing insects have an oversized cricket-like body and shovel-like forelimbs for burrowing. They spend the majority of their life underground. If not treated properly they can cause serious damage to your grass.  The red imported fire ant we have was introduced to the US in the mid-1930’s through the Port of Mobile and has been a problem ever since.

2)  Can you explain why all the sudden there are more of these pests popping up? 

Sid: Since winter was mild, more insects were able to survive and mature into the spring and summer seasons. Therefore, adult insects were able to reproduce and weak colonies experienced favorable conditions to grow.

Austin: Certainly the mild winter is a leading factor, but so is our very wet climate. These pests will cause more of a problem along with termites, fleas, and mosquitos. This summer, Formosan termites are here to stay; spreading across the Southeast, from Louisiana to Florida and all the way up to the Carolinas. As a matter of fact, we are dealing with them more than the native Eastern Subterranean termite.

3) What kind of an impact do these pests have on homeowners’ property, specifically their landscape? 

Sid: Mole crickets do significant damage throughout turf during their tunneling process. It destroys root structures and ultimately leads to turf death in the affected areas. Fire ants create tall and unsightly mounds near the base of trees, shrubs and branches if left around an unkempt yard.

Austin: That’s exactly right, Mole crickets are built to dig, and they feed on roots. You can sometimes hear them! Male Mole crickets have loud songs that they produce in holes shaped like a horn.

The notorious amount of precipitation in our area is what makes our fire ants a real problem. Significant amounts of rain can relocate fire ants all over a yard because they create a live floating raft. These can be dangerous to children, small pets and people with specific allergies, so not only are they a nuisance they can also be a health hazard.

Further information the residences of Lower Alabama should be aware of this summer:

Sid: Most pests and lawn issues can be easily managed and eliminated. However, taking preliminary action at the first sight of weeds or pests makes treatment easier. Giving either of these residential nuisances time to mature only compounds preventable issues. At Sexton, we provide full service, annual lawn care, and plant health care programs to help property owners.

We would like to thank BugMaster for the opportunity to participate in their blog. Their work to protect people from insects and critters goes hand-in-hand with our efforts. We are both fundamental partners in creating a beautiful and nuisance-free outdoor summertime experience.

Austin: BugMaster is a full-service company, offering: pest, termite, and wildlife control for over 40 years.  We leave the lawn care and anything turf to experts like Sid Sexton and the team at Sexton Landscaping. Consult the professionals to make sure you don’t have a problem with pest or when thinking about that new landscaping around your home you don’t want to do anything that could promote any unwanted guest. I believe if you catch any incident early enough it is less likely to become out of control, and will save you money in the long run.

Visit BugMaster today for a full list of services or call 251-666-4402. BugMaster, the bug stops here.

Visit Sexton Landscaping today for a full list of services or call 251-626-3309. Let them serve your Southern Alabama Landscaping needs.