OYO: Getting pests and disease to bug off!

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Now that your hard work is done and everything is planted and ready to go, the focus turns to keeping everything alive. One of the biggest challenges for a gardener is dealing with pests and diseases. Lewis yard and garden manager Doug Schroeder says that it's important to walk around and check your lawn, garden and plants at least once a week.

Shawn Cable and Doug Schroeder talk about yard and garden pests.

Doug says that one of the biggest issues people have this year is rabbits. There are a variety of sprays, granules and repellents that you can use to keep rabbits away. Doug says that when it comes to rabbits it's important to switch things up. Change the product you use about once a month. If you use the same repellent all summer long, rabbits can get used to it and will start coming back.

Voles are another big problem this year. Voles look like mice and tunnel through your grass under the snow during the winter months. Because voles like longer vegetation, Doug suggests mowing your lawn short just before winter. This will prevent voles from moving in and setting up shop in your yard. There are also several products you can use that will keep voles out of your yard.

Another thing that Doug has seen a lot of this year is aphids. If not controlled early, they can destroy your roses, flowers and perennials. There are several brands of insecticide that will control your aphid problem. If you choose use insecticide, Doug says you should wait until late evening to apply the product. Bees are less active at this time of day, and applying insecticide then will help save the bees. If you don't want to use insecticide, you can use plain dish soap and water. Mix the two and spray the plant. Dish soap will dissolve the outer membrane of the aphid and make it go away.

Powdery mildew is a fungus that forms as a white powder on your perennials and flowers. If left untreated, powdery mildew will kill your plant. There are a number of fungicides available to treat powdery mildew. Another option is to use milk. Make a mixture of one part milk to ten parts water, spray it on the plant and that should solve your powdery mildew problem.

The biggest lawn problem Doug is seeing this year is grubs. June is a bad month for grubs and he has already seen quite a few cases in our area. Grubs live just under your lawn and eat the roots of your grass. If you have a brown spot in your lawn and you can pull up the turf, you have a grub problem. There are several products that will kill the grubs and prevent them from coming back for up to three months. If you have hey Greg problem in your yard, you should take care of it immediately. Failure to do so could mean more significant, permanent damage to your lawn.

Aphids can destroy your plants if left untreated.