There’s really no debating it — deer are beautiful, graceful animals. Whether in the woods or in a suburban setting, the sight of them nearly always inspires awe and delight.
And yet the unfortunate truth is that wild deer aren’t always the gentle creatures we see in nature programs on television. In fact, they often bring ruin in their wake.
Why would you want to guard your property from deer?
- Deer often destroy gardens, orchards and nurseries in their quest for food.
- Disease prevention! Deer often play host to ticks, which infect thousands of people every year in Pennsylvania with Lyme disease.
Deer cause millions of dollars worth of property and land damage each year. That’s why it’s in everyone’s interest to safely and humanely keep deer away from our property.
Read more about The Only Effective Deer Repellent
If your Bucks County property is especially rich in trees and topiary – mature white pines, perhaps, or maybe spruce or fir trees – chances are better than average that you’ve already put a fair amount of time and money into maintaining your investment. So what could possibly be worse than watching your trees being literally destroyed from the top down?
Unfortunately, that’s an all-too-common occurrence for property owners in Bucks County and a number of other regions in Eastern Pennsylvania, where a devilish little pest known as the white pine weevil attacks and subsequently kills the tops of trees each year.
Read more about How to Control White Pine Weevil with Soil Injections
When you’ve worked so hard to own your home, you want to keep it beautiful. You may have a well-manicured yard or a fruitful garden that produces food for your family throughout the year, but if all of your hard work is getting destroyed by deer, you’ll only see stress when you look at your beautiful property.
If you can relate to any of the following situations, you could probably benefit from the installation of a deer fence in Bucks and Montgomery County Pennsylvania as an effective deer repellant:
Read more about Why Install a Deer Fence in Bucks and Montgomery County?
What’s a Deer Tick?
Deer ticks are also known as “black legged ticks,” and can be confused with other kinds of ticks, especially dog ticks. They live by attaching to and then feeding off of unsuspecting hosts; their favorite host is the white tailed deer, as their name suggests.
What They Look Like
Small, brown and flat, deer ticks have eight black legs. Because of their small size and unobtrusive color, they appear nearly invisible; they’re about the size of a sesame seed. They’ll turn rust-colored or brownish-red after they’ve fed.
How You Acquire Them
Contrary to what is sometimes popular belief, deer ticks don’t “jump onto” their hosts. Instead, they make their way to your clothing or your pets’ fur by simply “brushing onto” you or your pets as you pass.
Why They’re Dangerous
- They carry bacteria and viruses – which can be transmitted to you and your pets
Dear ticks can be dangerous because they are carriers of many bacteria and viruses, which they can pass them on to you once they bite you. Deer ticks are the primary carriers of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
The deer tick bite is painless when it occurs, so that you won’t feel it. You won’t know that you’ve been bitten until you begin to have symptoms of illness – which is why it’s imperative that you don’t get them on you at all. And remember, your pets are at risk, too. Read more about Deer Tick Questions and Prevention Methods
A tree that has been treated for Emerald Ash Borer (right) compared to one that has not.
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has finally arrived in Southeastern Pennsylvania and that is leading to some tough and costly calls about preservation by local governments. The pest has been slowly making its way across the state and was first documented in our area in 2012. It had already been in the infected trees for two or three years at that point. The EAB has been found in area trees and parks (although it is believed to have not yet crossed the river into New Jersey). The invasive species is widely considered to be one of the most destructive forest pests ever to come to North America. In the end, the total costs to the country, particularly to states and municipalities, could total in the billions.
While many Ash trees in the Southeastern Pennsylvania may not yet be infected, it is only a matter of time. Unfortunately, Ash trees make up nearly 20 percent of the local tree population in Bucks County. While it can be devastating for homeowners to discover the pest, the costs for local governments can be exponentially more, simply due to the number of trees they must manage. Planning ahead can help blunt the impact of the EAB infestation and save your community money. Read more about Emerald Ash Borer Management an Issue for Municipalities
By: Robert Oley, PE, MSPH, Public Health Consultant
The primary goal of a tick management plan for one’s home and surrounding property is to create low-risk tick zones within commonly used areas. These low-risk zones should include recreational, eating, entertainment and gardening areas, as well as spaces close to walkways, storage sheds, firewood piles, and mailboxes.
Ticks require a high humidity environment to survive, and need vertebrate hosts to feed on to be able to grow and reproduce. Without these two key elements, ticks just cannot sustain themselves. If you want to make your property safer from ticks, you must cut down on the number of potential tick hosts, while at the same time creating a drier, less inviting landscape for ticks.
Read more about Landscaping Tips To Reduce Ticks On Your Property
A tree that has been treated for Emerald Ash Borer (right) compared to one that has not.
Unfortunately the time has come to make some tough calls about the trees on your property. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has finally arrived in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The pest has been slowly making its way across the state, finally arriving when it was first discovered in an apartment complex in Warrington in 2012. Since then the EAB has been found in other area trees and parks (although it is believed to have not yet crossed the river into New Jersey). While many Ash trees in the Southeastern Pennsylvania may not yet be infected, it is only a matter of time. Unfortunately, Ash trees make up nearly 20 percent of the local tree population in Bucks County. Read more about The Emerald Ash Borer is Threatening Your Trees
Are deer destroying any sort of plant life on your property? Unfortunately you aren’t alone. Deer are being forced into smaller habitats with the constant tear-down of forests to build housing developments and shopping centers. The loss of our deer habitat here in Bucks County has led to property damage on our residential landscapes and forests. These animals are beautiful to look at, but you don’t want them damaging your property that you have worked so hard to build and maintain.
In Bucks County PA we actually have one of the densest deer populations in the entire state. Deer are in almost every town in the county. Once deer enter your property they look to eat a variety of items including: wild crabapple, sumac, honeysuckle, grasses, greenbrier, clover, dogwoods, acorns, but they will eat just about anything. They will also eat “browse” material, meaning ends of twigs or small branches of trees that they don’t normally consume. Not only do deer cause a great destruction to your landscape but they can also spread Lyme disease by carrying infected ticks onto your property. To avoid both of these problems, you should implement a deer management system and include deer fencing and deer grates.
Deer fencing is made of a poly-coated web material. The color and grid-like space of the fencing makes it virtually invisible, blending in with the aesthetics of your property. When installed by Peter Benz Landscaping, this fencing system is strong enough to discourage deer and other harmful pests from entering your property. Deer fencing is a long-term and cost-effective solution to any deer invasion and will protect your property for many years. In addition to the fencing we can also install deer grates to allow the passage of people and cars, but not deer. The grates are made of hollow slats and can be used in place of, or addition to, a driveway gate.
No matter if you are looking to protect only a small portion of your property or the entire landscape, installing deer fencing and deer grates can be extremely beneficial. Fencing is really the only deer-proofing method there is because no other tactic offers complete control, keeping deer off your property.
Peter Benz Landscaping has years of experience in landscape design as well as fence installation so we are able to naturally blend any deer fencing into your property. We can install fencing on any size property from residential gardens to commercial orchards. Contact us to learn more.
The white pine weevil, one of the most destructive pests of the eastern white pine in Pennsylvania, kills the tops of many different types of conifers. Although it attacks mostly pines, it can also be found in spruce and fir trees. Several generations of this pest can severely reduce the aesthetic value of their host.
White pine weevils spend the winter as adults in dropped needles under or near host trees. As days warm up in March or April they will fly or crawl to the leaders of suitable hosts. They begin feeding on the bark of terminal leaders. Mating occurs on the bark of the tree through most of June. A single female may lay 100 or more eggs in pits on the bark of the previous year’s leader. After hatching, grubs tunnel downward under the bark. Adult beetles emerge from late June to early September. After emergence, the beetles fly to other areas.
Between the feeding and the egg laying, the top 18-24″ of the leader is usually killed. Severe infestation may result in the loss of 2-3 years of growth. Glistening drops of resin oozing from holes in the leader are the first signs of attack, caused by adult weevils that are feeding before egg-laying. As the terminal is girdled, the new shoot of the current year’s growth withers and the tip bends over and turns brown. This stage of damage usually becomes noticeable in July. These infested leaders should be pruned at a point below the tunneling grubs, making sure to either burn or secure them in plastic trash bags and remove them from the property. If left on site the weevils may continue to develop in the prunings.
The standard treatment for pine weevil is to spray insecticides such as permethrin, bifenthrin or cyfluthrin at different intervals, but timing of these spray treatments is critical. The first application, to the terminal leader, as well as the lower trunk of the tree, must be done right before the adults begin feeding and laying eggs. A second spray treatment should be done a few of weeks later to protect the terminal leader. Other applications to the leader during midsummer are often necessary to manage this insect during outbreaks.
As an alternative, a single systemic soil injection of Imidacloprid can be applied in the fall to avoid multiple spray applications throughout the season. This allows adequate time for the chemical to be taken up to the terminal leaders of the tree. This method of control uses less active ingredient of chemical overall and has a lower environmental risk. It also has a reduced impact on natural enemies of the weevil.
Singed brown edges on leaves of trees are called scorch. This can be caused by different types of stress such as drought, root growth restriction, compacted soil or even salt damage. Oak Wilt is a disease which also causes browning of the tree leaves. Bacterial Leaf Scorch (BLS) is a disease which infects Oak trees as well as Maples, Lindens, Elms and others, although it is more commonly found in Oaks, especially Red Oaks. Leafhoppers, spittle bugs and other Xylem feeding insects carry the bacteria from tree to tree.
Read more about The Importance of Early Detection of Bacterial Leaf Scorch