German Cockroach – The Troublesome Pest!

“The Commercial Roach”

These insects are about 1/2” to 5/8” long when mature. They are found throughout the country and are extremely difficult to control because the female successfully raises the young which mature rapidly and reproduce. Some infestations are in the thousands in a very short time – Also known as the commercial roach, they are found in all commercial buildings where food, and water is available and occupied by man. Because they are able to reproduce so rapidly they are known to become resistant to pesticides.

They are transported to homes from infested grocery bags ect. They feed on all types of human food mostly at night and rest during the day in protected area usually in the kitchen and bathrooms. Heavy infestations may be found any where that is moist and warm however and may forage for food and water during the day.

The American Pest Control Experts

Because German cockroaches are so difficult to control newly introduced products including food bags and appliances should be closely inspected to prevent infestations. Control is difficult at best. Sanitation, liquid and dry pesticide applications along with baits will help reduce this pest. Often, it is best to leave this troublesome cockroach in the hands of professionals.

Request a Free Cockroach Inspection

Thousand Leggers? Well Maybe Not That Many

Millipedes – Control These Little Critters

Millipedes (Parasulus venustus) and other species, there are many; all have 2 pairs of legs on each body segment. A few years ago in the late spring they become so numerous in the mid west so as to create headlines in the papers and head aches for scientist like me. To this day we are not certain what caused the phenomena.

They are occasionally building invaders though its unlikely they multiply in the indoors. If you have a problem with them consider modifying your landscape. They are organic feeders and are especially faun of moist decaying leaves and mulch that is piled to deep against the foundation. Mulch reduces weeds improving soil and benefits plants but too much to close may create millipede and insect problems for your home.

American Elm Tree Injections – Avoid the European Bark Beetle!

Do you have a large shade tree in your yard you can’t identify?

Find out if it’s an American Elm. If it is, consider having is injected by an ISA Certified Arborist. There is no silver bullet but several systemic fungicides injected directly into the buttress, area of the root system may keep your tree alive for many a years. Once the tree becomes infected from the European bark beetle, all is lost. Dutch Elms Disease (OPHIOSTOMA or CERATOCYSTIS ulmi) can not be cured.

The loss of a beautiful shade tree can reduce your property values drastically. Large trees are very expensive to remove and nobody wants to see a huge bare spot where a beautiful tree once stood.

Elm Tree Injections

For more information on tree injections call American Lawn and Tree Arborists for a free quote at 800-404-3033.

Phytopthora Root Disease – Ruby Red Grapefruit Tree Killer


Good afternoon Doc,

I have a Ruby Red Grapefruit tree in my back yard that is losing it’s leaves it also has some green strff and what appears to be sap bubbling from certain places on the trunk. What can I do to save my Tree?

- Tom from Cape Coral, FL

Doc’s Answer:

Tom, I’m sorry, but there is nothing you can do to save your grapefruit tree. Unfortunately it has become infected with Phytopthora root disease. There is no cure, Phytopthora infect many woody plants in the U.S. including Dogwood, Oak, Cedar, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Redwood, Birch, Rhododendron and many others

Phytopthora kills the roots and root crown area of infected plants. It is usually a slow death for the plant. Early leaf drop and yellowing, black or reddish sap flow and twig and branch die back give away to eventual death. There are man species of Phytopthora. P. Cininoni requires warm moist soil conditions while P. Cactoruim requires moist cool conditions. All phytopthora species however require high soil moisture, I see well irrigated lawns kill over watered plants in many landscapes around the country from Phytopthora.

American Lawn and Tree Arborists

Are Lichens Harmful to My Trees?



Are my trees getting sick? They have greyish green patches on their bark.

- Marcy F.

Doc’s Answer:

No – the growths you described are called LICHENS pronounced “Likens” and they do not harm trees. Lichens are a combination of green algae and fungi that live together symbiotically. The algae, a microscopic green plant, makes food from sunlight for the combination, while the fungus, a non green plant, provides support and absorbs the moisture they both need. Lichens form on many other moist surfaced such as rocks, soil, fallen logs, as well as tree bark.

Lichens are very sensitive to air pollution so their presence is a sure sign the air in the area is good for us to breath.

American Lawn and Tree Arborists

Bedbugs Policy Change in Florida – Department of Business and Professional Regulations

Bedbugs Still a Problem

Florida hotels are changing their inspection policies to actively let inspectors into rooms to search for bedbugs. A new policy by the Department of Business and Professional Regulations, Division of Hotels and Restaurants, which provides for inspections, formal warnings and a prohibition on renting bed bug infested rooms is being instituted.

The state department created its new policy after consulting with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies nationwide according to the Orlando Sentinal.

The old law allowed they could only tell the hotel to remedy the problem because they had no authority to do more.

American Lawn and Tree Arborist

EEK!!! The leaves on my flowering trees have already fallen off!

Chronic Apple Scab

Flowering crabs throughout the midwest usually drop their leaves early due to a disease called Venturia inequalis commonly known as chronic apple scab. The disease is most severe when humidity is high and temperatures are moderate during spring and early summer. Host plants include nearly all apple and flowering crab trees as well as others in the “Mallis” family.

Treatment options include:

  • 1) Apply appropriate fungicides as a drench at bud swell, bud elongation and bud break
  • 2) Fertilize the trees in spring or fall
  • 3) Do nothing

If you elect to do (1) the tree should maintain most of its leaves until normal leaf drop in the fall.
If you choose to do (2) the leaves will still drop early but the tree will be better able to cope with the leaf loss.
If you choose to do (3) the tree will likely survive unless it is in poor vigor.

However you choose to deal with the problem, be sure to remove as many dead leaves as possible in the fall because that is where the disease lives in the winter.

American Lawn and Tree Arborist

Can I Grow Palm Trees Where I Live?

Palms Can Grow in Northern States!

Palms are grown all over the world. Canada serves a Northern reference point and many types of palm trees can grow there. The main factors affecting hardiness are the minimum winter temperature, the number of hours of cold every winter, the amount of heat every summer, and the relative wetness or dryness of the climate. In general, palms are not particularly hardy. Many are actually injured by a single freezing night. Others can withstand zero degrees F for short periods without damage.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed a system of cold hardiness zones based on the average annual minimum temperature. The zones that are considered “borderline” are the following:

  • 10 to 15 degrees F = Zone 8a
  • 15 to 20 degrees F = Zone 8b
  • 20 to 25 degrees F = Zone 9a
  • 25 to 30 degrees F = Zone 9b

How do I get a palm established in a “borderline” area?

Most hardy palm growers recommend protecting the palm from the climate for at least the first two years that it is in the ground. The palm should be mulched with a deep layer of fall leaves or other material. The palm can then be wrapped in burlap, bubble plastic, a spun landscape material such as “remay” or “garden blanket”, or even an old sheet or blanket. If you use a non-porous material such as plastic, it is best if air space is left between the palm and the material. This air space may not be needed if you only protect the palm during cold spells. It is best to stay with palms that grow in your zone.

Hardy Palms

The hardiest arborescent (trunking) palm is the Windmill Palm – Trachycarpus fortunei. They are grown as far north as parts of British Columbia in Canada. They have a fuzzy trunk which can grow twenty feet tall. They do not need a hot climate, and seem to thrive in cool, moist weather.

Sabal palmetto (Sabal palm, Cabbage palm) is the state tree of Florida and South Caroline. It has been known to survive between zero and five degrees when well-established . It cannot survive these temperatures on a regular basis, and is probably best rated as a zone 8a. It is a large fan palm which takes many years to form a trunk. It can be found in the wild as far north as Bald Head Island, North
Carolina, near Willmington.

Chamaerops humilis (European fan palm/Mediterranean fan palm) is quite hardy in areas which have a dry climate. It is usually rated as a “zone 8” palm. In areas with wet winter soil (like the eastern U.S. and the Pacific Northwest). It seems to be less hardy. Planting this palm in a well-drained bed (such as a bed prepared for a cactus garden) may help it survive in these areas.

Washingtonia robusta, Washingtonia filifera, and Brahea armata are western desert palms which are fairly hardy in their native environment (zone 8, zone 9a).

Phoenix canariensis is a large date palm which can grow in zone 8b areas.

Problems with Sod WebWorms in Florida Lawns

Tropical Sod Webworms Attack

Of all the “Lepidoptera” lawn pests in Florida, the tropical sod webworm is the most damaging. It can attack all specie of lawns along the entire gulf coast of the United States. Most damage occurs in fall. Symptoms include browning spots about the size of a quarter. As the infestation worsens, the spots coalesce and become larger. The adult moths cause no damage and can be seen fluttering over the grass as they are disturbed. The problem is the caterpillar or larvae of the moth as they are the ones that do the damage. As always, read the label if you plan to do the treatment yourself. Remember, “the label is the law”.

American Lawn and Tree Arborist